Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag
Lev and Svetlana, kept apart for fourteen years by the Second World War and the Gulag, stayed true to each other and exchanged thousands of secret letters as Lev battled to survive in Stalin's camps. Using this remarkable cache of smuggled correspondence, Orlando Figes tells the tale of two incredible people who, swept along in the very worst of times, kept their devotion alive.
Orlando Figes was granted exclusive access to the thousands of letters between Lev and Sveta that form the foundation of Just Send Me Word, and he was able to interview the couple in person, then in their nineties. These real-time and largely uncensored letters form the largest cache of Gulag letters ever found.
'One is overcome with admiration for the kindness, bravery and generosity of people in terrible peril ... It is impossible to read without shedding tears' Simon Sebag Montefiore, Financial Times
'This powerful narrative by a distinguished historian will take its place not just in history but in literature' Robert Massie
'Electrifying, passionate, devoted, despairing, exhilarating ... a tale of hope, resilience, grit and love' The Times