My Half Century
Anna Akhmatova is known as one of twentieth-century Russia's greatest poets, a member of the quartet that included Mandelstam, Pasternak, and Tsvetaeva. This is the first paperback collection of her prose available in English. The subjects of her memoirs are extraordinary: she describes Modigliani as she knew him in Paris, Blok near the end of his days, and Mandelstam as a close friend. The autobiographical prose section reveals the elusive poet's personality more clearly than any biography could, including her thoughts about how difficult it was to be a poet at a time when women writers were rarely taken seriously.