Russia: Notes from the Underground

Ever since the manuscript of Doctor Zhivago was smuggled out of the Soviet Union, some of Russia's best writing has been published only in the West. Despite its liberalization since Stalin's death, Russia remains full of talented, frustrated authors who are denied an audience in their own country and hunger to be read. Publication abroad can lead straight to prison—as it did for Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, who in 1966 were sentenced to seven-and five-year terms for allowing their biting satirical novels to escape across the border.

Despite the risk for...

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