Earthly Signs

Author(s): Marina TSvetaeva

Biography & Memoir

Marina Tsvetaeva ranks with Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Boris Pasternak as one of Russia's greatest twentieth-century poets. Her suicide at the age of forty-eight was the tragic culmination of a life beset by loss and hardship. This volume presents in English a collection of essays published in the Russian UmigrU press after Tsvetaeva left Moscow in 1922. Based on diaries she kept from 1917 to 1920, the work describes the broad social, economic, and cultural chaos provoked by the Bolshevik Revolution. Events and individuals are seen through the lens of her personal experience-that of a destitute young woman of upper-class background with two small children (one of whom died of starvation), a missing husband, and no means of support other than her poetry. These autobiographical writings are an eyewitness account of a dramatic period in Russian history, told by a gifted and outspoken poet.


Product Information

A moving collection of autobiographical essays from a Russian poet and refugee of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) was born in Moscow and published her first collection of poems, Evening Album, at the age of eighteen. During the Moscow famine of 1922, she emigrated with her family to Berlin, then to Prague, before finally settling in Paris in 1925. In 1939, Tsvetaeva returned to the Soviet Union where her husband was executed and her surviving daughter was sent to a labor camp. When the German army invaded the USSR, she was evacuated to Yelabuga with her son. She committed suicide in 1941. Tsvetaeva's letters to Boris Pasternak and Rainer Maria Rilke are featured in the NYRB Classic Letters- Summer 1926.Jamey Gambrell is a writer on Russian art and culture. She has translated, among other things, Vladimir Sorokin's three-volume Ice Trilogy and Tatyana Tolstaya's The Slynx and White Walls (all available as NYRB Classics).

General Fields

  • : 9781681371627
  • : The New York Review of Books, Inc
  • : The New York Review of Books, Inc
  • : October 2017
  • : United States
  • : November 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Main
  • : Paperback
  • : Marina TSvetaeva
  • : 280