The Girl from the Metropol Hotel by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya – Book

The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communal Russia by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya and translated by Anna Summers in 2017 caught my attention because I had read, not long ago, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, which was also set in post-revolutionary Russia in the Metropol Hotel, located in the heart of Moscow. While I enjoyed the novel by Towles, I felt that the life Alexander, once a member of the aristocracy, lived in the Metropol Hotel might be a somewhat romanticized version of the fate a person would normally have suffered as an enemy of the people during those early days of the Communist (Bolshevik)Revolution. The new leaders were purging the nation of old bourgeois influences and the privileged classes. Petrushevskaya’s story is quite different from Alexander’s and conforms more nearly to my understanding of the complicated and unpredictable suspicions that often led to the arrests of Russians in the wake of the revolution.

Anna Summers offers a preface which provides some background. She begins by describing a May 9th parade that took place in every town and village since the end of WWII with rows of ragged and neglected veterans marching proudly, and then she has us picture the day of May 9th in 2015 (Petrushevskaya originally published her book in Russia in 2006) when there were no WWII vets left to parade through the towns and villages; there were only pictures carried by their grandchildren. She tells us, “Except sometimes the facts of a family’s connection with the war weren’t suited for proud retelling and were therefore often concealed from the little ones who would then be forced to hem and haw and finally come up with some lie. Sometimes our grandparents didn’t just die gruesomely, buried alive in a tank, like mine or return disfigured or even return at all. Sometimes they were arrested and sent to the Gulag…” (Her father and her grandfather were killed in a mass execution in the late 1930’s, even though her relations were prominent Bolsheviks elevated by the October Revolution, so she had no war stories to tell and this was a problem.) “The shared experiences of their childhoods – evacuation, hunger – were heightened in her case by the unbearable – and unshareable – extreme because of the social stigma that branded her an ‘enemy of the people’”

Ludmilla’s childhood with her aunt and her grandmother was hungrier and dirtier than that of most children because of the classification and execution of her grandfather and her father. The female survivors were ostracized and interned in a prison without walls. Ludmilla’s story may begin when she was born in the Metropol Hotel but her life is lived far from Moscow for the most part. Whatever Russia was like after the Revolution for those who found favor with the Communists, Ludmilla’s memoir of her childhood years shows what life was like for everyone in a family once a progenitor became an enemy of the people, even though the reasons were often obscure, petty, or even imagined.

Soon this famous Russian writer, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, will join the ranks of those no longer living veterans of WWII. Thankfully she got to publish this memoir of her early hardscrabble existence and outcast state. We should not ever forget that the Russian Revolution was often an ideological quagmire with many victims, both guilty and innocent. Sounds grim, but is very readable.

25 thoughts on “The Girl from the Metropol Hotel by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya – Book

  1. Nageldesign – Eine Kunst begeistert die Welt!

    Modellierte Nägel brillieren ständig vollendet geformt und verkörpern Weiblichkeit.
    Bloß was steht überhaupt dahinter? Wer sich über das Gebiet “Naildesign” unterrichtet, ist prompt von der Unmenge an unterschiedlichsten Bezeichnungen sowie
    Apparaturen verwirrt. Tattoos, Overlays, Buffer, Acrylpuder und & Co., können den Interessierten wirklich
    leicht verdutzen. Deshalb unterweisen unsere Inhalte bezüglich Materien rund um das
    Naildesign. Auf diese Weise stellen unsere Autoren auf unserer Homepage
    dienliche Artikel wie „Sind Kunstnägel gesundheitsschädlich?“ wie auch
    sonstige praktische Tricks. Ebenso bieten unsere Autoren weiterhin unzählige Anleitende Beiträge wie Sie Naildesign eigenhändig machen können. Auf dieser Seite erhält jeder sicherlich was er will.


  2. Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your website is very useful.
    Thanks for sharing!


  3. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog andd check again here frequently.
    I’m quite sre I’ll learn a lot off new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!


  4. I blog frequently and I seriously appreciate your content. Your article has truly peaked my
    interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about
    once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed


  5. Just desire to say yoᥙr article іs as amazing.
    Tһe clarity to youг post is juѕt nice and i can suppose you’re an expert in tһis subject.
    Well togethеr ԝith yoսr permission аllow me tо tɑke
    hold of your feed to stay up to dɑte with approaching post.
    Thаnk уoս 1,000,000 and please continue the gratifying work.


  6. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found
    It positively useful and it has helped me out loads.

    I hope to contribute & aid different customers
    like its aided me. Great job.


  7. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
    topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking
    forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!


  8. Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of
    the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking
    issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.


  9. Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this article is awesome, great written and include almost
    all significant infos. I’d like to look extra posts like this .


  10. I am curious tо find оut whɑt blog platform you’re wօrking with?
    I’m having ѕome minor security issues ѡith my latеst blog and I would like to
    find sometһing mοre risk-free. Do you have any recommendations?


  11. Hi! I just would like to offer you a huge thumbs up
    for the great information you have here on this post. I’ll be
    returning to your site for more soon.


  12. I think this is one of the so much vital info for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. However should observation on some basic issues, The site taste is great, the
    articles is truly great : D. Good task, cheers


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s