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The Shoemaker and his Daughter By Conor O'Clery

The Shoemaker and his Daughter by Conor O'Clery

Condition - Very Good
5 in stock


'Highly readable, deeply informed.' Sunday TimesFrom Stalin's Soviet Union to Putin's Russia, this sweeping family memoir reveals what life is like for ordinary people in extraordinary times.

The Shoemaker and his Daughter Summary

The Shoemaker and his Daughter by Conor O'Clery

'Highly readable, deeply informed.' Sunday Times From Stalin's Soviet Union to Putin's Russia, this sweeping family memoir reveals what life is like for ordinary people in extraordinary times. The Soviet Union, 1962. Shoemaker Stanislav Suvorov is imprisoned for five years. His crime? Selling his car for a profit, contravening the Kremlin's strict laws of speculation. Laws which, thirty years later, his daughter Zhanna helps to unravel. In the new Russia, yesterday's crime is today's opportunity. On his release from prison, social shame drives Stanislav to voluntary exile in Siberia, moving his family from a relatively comfortable, continental life in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, to frigid, farthest-flung Krasnoyarsk. For some, it is the capital of the gulag. For others, it is the chance to start over again. These are the last days of a Soviet Union in which the Communist Party and KGB desperately cling to power, in which foreigners are unwelcome and travel abroad is restricted, where the queues for bread are daily and debilitating and where expressing views in favour of democracy and human rights can get you imprisoned or sent into exile. The Shoemaker and His Daughter takes in more than eighty years of Soviet and Russian history through the prism of one family - a family author Conor O'Clery knows well: he is married to Zhanna. It paints a vivid picture of a complex part of the world at a seismic moment in its history: of erratic war and uneasy peace; of blind power and its frequent abuse; of misguided ideologies and stifling bureaucracy; of the slow demise of Communism and the chaotic embrace of capitalism. The Suvorovs witness it all. Both intimate and sweeping in scale, this is a story of ordinary lives battered and shaped by extraordinary times. 'Enthralling, moving, distressing and inspiring, this extraordinary book depicts the mighty movements of world history experienced by a largely non-political family, as the Soviet Union rises then falls. And every word is true.' Peter Hitchens, 'My Book of the Year', Mail on Sunday 'Welcomed by everyone who cares about good writing and human stories.' Richard Lloyd Parry, author of Ghosts of the Tsunami

The Shoemaker and his Daughter Reviews

"Conor O'Clery is a legend among foreign correspondents. Over four decades - in Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Asia - he has established himself as a voice of wit, close observation, and sane good sense. His new book will be welcomed by everyone who cares about good writing, and about the human stories that enable us to understand the great movements of world history." * Richard Lloyd Parry, author of Ghosts of the Tsunami *
"Conor O'Clery's latest book is a tour de force - a sweeping account of the turbulent decades of the Soviet Union and the new Russia, told through the prism of a Russian-Armenian family. The story features love, politics, murder, wars, and the fracturing of ties, personal and ethnic, brought about by Stalin and his Kremlin successors. O'Clery is a gifted writer. His subject is one he knows well: his wife's father, mother and relatives, as they make their own sure-footed journey through a treacherous twentieth century." *
Luke Harding, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House *
"Highly readable, deeply informed telling of an ordinary, extraordinary story." * Sunday Times *
"Takes us into the hidden heart of Soviet Russia... an illuminating combination of history, politics, geography and humanity that's personal and close... An arresting and evocative story, brought alive through a host of characters, not least, the vast, hostile, secretive Russia herself." *
Keggie Carew, author of Dadland *
"Transcends the confines of a mere family history... With his easy humour, engaging style and innate sympathy for the little guy, O'Clery shows how events and decisions in Moscow affected millions of Russians in myriad life-changing ways." * Financial Times *
"This is not a book about heroic dissidents or murderous fanatics, but about everyday people trying to navigate a system that frustrates them yet provides them with priceless opportunities...Enchantingly written, thoughtfully structured and a model for all the other journalists who pass through Moscow." * Economist *
"An unusual chronicle of the end of the Soviet Union, seen through the eyes of an extended family... O'Clery tells their story with tender clarity." -- Xan Smiley * Literary Review *
"An often brilliant exploration of nearly a century of Soviet and post-Soviet history ... highly readable, deeply informed telling of an ordinary, extraordinary story." * Sunday Times, Ireland *
"[A] superb, illuminating book ... A memoir of great power and poignancy." -- Peter Hitchens * Mail on Sunday *
"[O'Clery] is an elegant and scrupulous writer. His consistently excellent reportage is further enriched by Zhanna's memories." * Irish Times *
"A fascinating way to illuminate a century of Russian history. Conor O'Clery uses the story of his Russian-Armenian in-laws to explore the reality of life in Russia and the Soviet Union." * Martin Sixsmith *
"A moving testament to these decent people whose ordinary lives coincided with extraordinary times and testing circumstances." * Irish Independent *
"Brilliant! Conor O'Clery shows more about how people really live in the former Soviet Union than any foreign writer before him. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to know about today's Russia." *
Fred Coleman, author of The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Empire *
"An absolutely terrific book - moving, informative, an extraordinary story beautifully written." *
Martin Fletcher, former foreign correspondent and foreign editor of The Times *

About Conor O'Clery

Conor O'Clery holds a unique perspective on the former Soviet Union, as resident Irish Times correspondent during the last four years of communism and as a frequent visitor since then, having married into a Russian-Armenian family in Krasnoyarsk. After Moscow he was a foreign correspondent in Washington, Beijing and New York. He has been twice awarded Journalist of the Year, for his dispatches from Moscow and for his reporting of the 9/11 attacks in New York. He is the author of several books including Melting Snow, on the fall of the Soviet Union; The Greening of the White House, about the Clinton presidency, The Billionaire Who Wasn't, a biography of the philanthropist Chuck Feeney; and Moscow, December 25, 1991, an account of the last day of the Soviet Union.

Additional information

The Shoemaker and his Daughter by Conor O'Clery
Used - Very Good
Transworld Publishers Ireland Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - The Shoemaker and his Daughter