ABOUT THIS BOOK
A Time to Gather Stones is a collection of five essays on cultural, historical, and environmental preservation. Vladimir Soloukhin is well known as one of the founders of the "village prose" movement in Soviet Russian literature. Like other village prose writers, he is disturbed by the ravages of the natural environment caused by planned yet ecologically irresponsible industrialization, and by the willful neglect of both agriculture and rural values. Like them, he is also outraged at the systematic destruction of Russia's monuments and cultural artifacts. In their documentary nature and range of subjects the essays in A Time to Gather Stones expound upon the insights, but also expand the parameters, of the village prose genre. The title essay is an account of the famous Optina monastery, its history and founding, and its fate during the years of Soviet rule.