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Book review: Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea by Teffi

By Frances Wilson   July 2016

Memories_D-HB-FINAL-amended-641x1024Pushkin, £16.99

Memories is an astonishing account of a valedictory journey across Russia undertaken in 1918 by Teffi, the once-famous Russian playwright and humorist, in the company of a “squint-eyed Odessa impresario” who goes by the name of Gooskin. Except that Teffi doesn’t know that she will never return to Moscow, that this is a voyage into nowhere. The teenage Vladimir Nabokov, leaving St Petersburg at the same time, described his own experience as a “syncopal kick”—a momentary loss of consciousness. Teffi was 46 years old and acutely conscious throughout.

The book is…

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