Have you ever thought: here I am in Moscow and maybe I could read some of that Russian literature I hear so much about?
The IWC Russian literature and lunch group has thrived for more than 20 years. The secret: we help each other discover great works, and we also have lunch. The joy of an international group is that we share our very different experience and perspectives as we explore Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, but also the challenges of Soviet Era and contemporary writing.
We had several new joiners last autumn, and have made some changes reflecting our busier lifestyles. We now read one book a month instead of two, and we meet twice a month, on the first and third Tuesdays, 1230-1500.
The first Tuesday is a visit, to give some background to the book. For instance, in January, wediscussed One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, so we visited Solzhenitsyn’s house museum and his grave at the Donskoi Monastery.
The third Tuesday is when we discuss thebook and have lunch.
Where possible, we take it in turnsto host.
Lunch is simple soup, salad, and dessert. The aim is that the host isnot slaving over a hot stove, andcan join in the discussion.
In 2021 we invited two authors to lunch. Guzel Yakhina, whose book “Zuleikha opens her eyes” caused a lot of debate when it was serialised on Russian TV. Also Natalia
Semenova, whose “ story of a family and a lost collection”, describes the lives of the wealthy merchants in the early part of the twentieth century, and is essential reading for the Morozov exhibition currently at the Louis Vuitton museum in Paris.
If you would like to try us, please contact me and join us for lunch. Our book list for the rest of the IWC year is here:
Solzhenitsyn- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (January)
Turgeniev- Virgin Soil
Kurkov- Penguin Lost
Alexievich- The Unwomanly Face of War
Teffi- Rasputin and other ironies
Trifonov- The House on the Embankment
Tolstoy-The Death of Ivan Ilyich