A chilling grotesque told by a woman who was there. Diavolina, the maid who rose to be a physician, worked as a servant for Maxim Gorky for many decades; then, she became his nurse and his last love. The author conjures the world of Tzarist Russia and the Soviet Union from the perspective of this shrewd and discerning woman, including the disturbing parallels between the new autocracy and the old: revolutions, intrigues, and, more than anything else, untold numbers of dead. The terminally ill Gorky, upon his return to Russia, attempts to both defy and appease Stalin, saving people while writing Stalinist articles. Every character in his novel is based on a historical figure, and even the most astonishing stories are true. The plethora of artists, writers, scoundrels, adventurers, executioners, and people drifting comfortably through life represent a world we thought had gone with the 20th century. But it endures…
Published by Novela Bohemica, 2022
György Spiró (* 1946) is a Hungarian novelist, poet, playwright, translator, and literary historian. He has worked as a journalist, theatre dramaturge, researcher at the Academy of Sciences, and university teacher (world literature, aesthetics). He likes to deal with socially sensitive topics in his works, which is why his books often provoke controversial reactions. His novels Under the X Brand (Az Ikszek) (1990), Stone Frog (Kőbéka) (2018), and Good Golly, Woman! (Feleségverseny)(2016) have been published in Czech.