Cover image for Brodsky : a personal memoir
Brodsky : a personal memoir
Shtern, Li͡udmila.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Brodskiĭ. English
Publication Information:
Fort Worth, Tex. : Baskerville Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
386 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:

Book has been annotated so extensively for the English-speaking reader that brackets have been used to prevent the text being carpeted with footnotes. The new material in this edition includes poetry and photographs that are published for the first time. All poetry that has not been attributed to a translator was translated by the author.

Exp. and translated ed. of: Brodskiĭ. 2001.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PG3479.4.R64 Z86713 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Brodsky was a friend of the author's family and confided his thoughts and feelings to her, as well as poetry in progress, over more than thirty years both before and after their emigration. Includes never before published poems and numerous photographs.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Shtern, author of the novel Leaving Leningrad 0 (2001), knew Joseph Brodsky most of his life, both in Russia and the U.S. Brodsky visited her family's home, valued her father's knowledge of Russian military history, and sent her mother a personal poem for her ninety-fifth birthday. All this is just cause for Shtern to write a book about Brodsky, the famously exiled Russian poet who schooled himself in literature, went on to win the Nobel Prize, and became a U.S. poet laureate. But although Shtern offers numerous, carefully documented details about her friendship with Brodsky and his circle, and some interesting observations, there is little new here for readers even slightly knowledgeable about the exiled writer. What is more interesting is Shtern's description of the artistic and inseparably political climate in which she and Brodsky lived in Soviet Russia. Therein lies the real value of this book: insight into the country that shaped a great poet like Brodsky only to reject him for the rebel he was. --Janet St. John Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this charming memoir, Shtern not only brings the famous poet Joseph Brodsky to life, but illuminates for an American audience the experiences of an entire generation of Russian intelligentsia. Beginning in late 1950s Leningrad and moving through immigration to America and the post-Soviet '90s of New York and Boston, Shtern uses Brodsky as the hub around which she and other Russian writers and thinkers revolve, bringing various luminaries, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, to light through small details. She invites the reader into the struggles, from Soviet persecution to lovers' spats, that defined the lives of this extraordinary group. Shtern's book is notable for its brutal honesty: it shows people in unflattering lights. Brodsky himself comes off as often unkind and imperious, but also as loyal and generous; old friends become grasping and jealous as others' situations improve, and alliances form and re-form. Although the book has no structure to speak of and repeats certain details, Shtern has the memoirist's gift of intimacy, keeping the tone conversational throughout. Interspersed with poems and stories, the book conveys how poetry and the work of the mind stood as the central experience for Shtern and her circle, both within Soviet entrapment and amid the pressures of acclimation to a wide and frightening new life in the West. B&w photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved