“Will someone pay for the spilled blood? No. Nobody.” When Mikhail Bulgakov composed this dark and prophetic phrase in Kiev amid the turmoil of the Russian civil war, the political troubles of his native Ukraine were well underway, but far from over. In Black Earth: A Journey through the Ukraine, journalist and celebrated travel writer Jens Mühling takes readers across the country during its most recent political crises: the ousting of former president Viktor Yanukovych and the Russian annexation of Crimea. In the midst of this turmoil, Mühling delves deep into daily life in Ukraine, narrating his encounters with Ukrainian nationalists and old communists, Crimean Tatars and Cossacks, smugglers and soldiers, all of whose views could hardly be more different. Black Earth connects all these stories to convey an unconventional and unfiltered view of Ukraine, a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and the center of countless conflicts of opinion—and of arms.
When German journalist Jens Mühling met Juri, a Russian television producer selling stories about his homeland, he was mesmerized by what he heard: the real Russia and Ukraine were more unbelievable than anything he could have invented. The encounter changed Mühling’s life, triggering a number of journeys to Ukraine and deep into the Russian heartland on a quest for stories of ordinary and extraordinary people. Away from the bright lights of Moscow, Mühling met and befriended a Dostoevskian cast of characters, including a hermit from Tayga who had only recently discovered the existence of a world beyond the woods, a Ukrainian Cossack who defaced the statue of Lenin in central Kiev, and a priest who insisted on returning to Chernobyl to preach to the stubborn few determined to remain in the exclusion zone.
Unveiling a portion of the world whose contradictions, attractions, and absurdities are still largely unknown to people outside its borders, A Journey into Russia is a much-needed glimpse into one of today’s most significant regions.
November 1925 found David and Frieda Lawrence on the Italian Riviera, looking for sun, sea air, and health. The Lawrences were exhilarated by life in their rented villa, set amid olive groves and vineyards, with a view of the sparkling Mediterranean. The drab English winter couldn’t have been farther away.
But before long Frieda found herself irresistibly attracted to their landlord, a dashing Italian army officer, and the resulting affair served as the background for Lawrence’s writing: while in the villa, he turned out two stories, “Sun” and “The Virgin and the Gypsy,” both prefiguring Lady Chatterley’s Lover in their depiction of women fatally drawn to earthy, muscular men.
Built on the unpublished, and previously unexplored, letters and diaries of Rina Secker, the Anglo-Italian wife of Lawrence’s publisher, and featuring never-before-published letters from Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Villa reconstructs the drama of the tempestuous marriage, and the ways it fired Lawrence’s creativity. Along the way, Richard Owen offers a new accounting of Lawrence’s passion for Italy, tracing his travels along the coasts and islands and his deep engagement with Italian culture. This exploration of a little-studied, but crucial period of the writer’s life will be a must for Lawrence’s many fans.
This book, available for the first time in English, is an exhilarating journey through Turkey’s history and a perceptive look at the interactions between secularism, religion, and multiethnic identity.
Without a guide and driven only by his own curiosity, Klaus Reichert travels to Anatolia, Istanbul, and the Aegean coast. He explores the strip of land where Adam and Eve are said to have settled after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and where Moses struck water from stone. While following in the footsteps of the brilliant architect Mimar Sinan and investigating the mysteries of his mosques, Reichert speaks to an old stonemason and a young teacher, visits one of the last remaining colonies of a rare breed of ibis, and walks the wide expanses surrounding the archaeological sites of western Turkey. Finally, he draws parallels between Kilim weaving, minimal music, and modernity as a whole. Under Reichert’s gaze, what is seen and learned becomes a colorful and provocative collection of images and patterns.
A one-of-a-kind travelogue that touches on Turkey’s traditions, natural history, and political divisions, Turkey Rediscovered shows us a new side to a land we thought we already knew.