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2023 Longlist

Iron Curtain: A Love Story

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Two worlds on the brink of change in a love story doomed to disaster. Milena is a Red Princess living in a Soviet Satellite state in the 1980s. She enjoys limitless luxury and limited freedom; the end of the Cold War seems unimaginable. When she meets Jason, a confident British poet, Milena is appalled by his political naivety and his poor choice of footwear. Still, they fall into bed together, and before long Milena is secretly planning to escape to Britain. 1980s London defies her privileged expectations. The rented flat is grim and the food is disgusting but she is with the man she loves and there are no hidden cameras to record her every move. But then Milena discovers that Jason’s idea of freedom hurts even more… With sharp wit and tender precision, Vesna Goldsworthy unpicks the failures of family and state. Iron Curtain is a sly, elegant human drama that challenges the myths we tell ourselves.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Vesna
Goldsworthy

Vesna Goldsworthy comes from Belgrade. She began her writing life as a poet and aged 22 performed her poetry to thirty thousand people at a football stadium. At 24 she moved to the UK and started writing in English, her third language.

Her widely-translated books include a prize-winning poetry collection The Angel of Salonika; an internationally bestselling memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries; and the London-based novels Gorsky and Monsieur Ka. A former BBC World Service journalist, she is now an academic and occasional broadcaster.

Vesna Goldsworthy comes from Belgrade. She began her writing life as a poet and aged 22 performed her poetry to thirty thousand people at a football stadium. At 24 she moved to the UK and started writing in English, her third language.

Her widely-translated books include a prize-winning poetry collection The Angel of Salonika; an internationally bestselling memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries; and the London-based novels Gorsky and Monsieur Ka. A former BBC World Service journalist, she is now an academic and occasional broadcaster.

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Iron Curtain uses a bitter-sweet story of a doomed love affair between Milena, a communist Red Princess, and Jason, a self-declared Irish Marxist poet, to probe the political divisions of Europe which continue to affect us all. It echoes the myth of Medea in its gripping tale of Western betrayal and Eastern revenge.

It is a spellbinding novel: vividly original, tense and often hilarious in its extraordinary evocation of two wildly contrasted worlds. It brings to mind the best political fiction from Eastern Europe, such as the works of Pasternak and Kundera, now in an inimitable British-Serbian woman’s voice. With the passing of the period of optimism which followed the fall of the Berlin Wall the fractured world described in this novel has an ominous resonance today.

– Belgrade City Library, Serbia

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
10/02/2022
Country
Serbia, United Kingdom
Original Language
English
Publisher
Chatto and Windus

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