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The Turbulent End of Communism

Albanian academic Lea Ypi and Dutch novelist Pieter Waterdrinker discuss their experiences of living under communist systems as they collapsed and ushered in an often turbulent new order.

Ypi, professor of political theory at London School of Economics, grew up in Albania. In Free: Coming of Age at the End of History, she describes growing up in a country where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Everything changed in 1990, but freedom brought bankruptcy and violent conflict, leading her to question what freedom meant.

Waterdrinker, a successful Dutch novelist, found himself living in the Soviet Union as a tour operator with a sideline in contraband bibles at a time of huge turmoil. Thirty years later he still lives in Saint Petersburg with his Russian wife. In The Long Song of Tchaikovsky Street: a Russian Adventure, he reflects on those years and on the divided soul of Russia.

  • Time: 4:00pm
  • Location: Oxford Martin School: Seminar Room
  • Admission: £7 - £12.50
  • Tickets



The Long Song of Tchaikovsky Street

About the author(s)

Pieter Waterdrinker (b. 1961) lives by turns in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. He has unparalleled knowledge of modern Russia, and his habitat always plays a principal role in his work. In 1998, he made his debut with the novel Danslessen (Dancing Lessons) which received immediate acclaim. This was followed by...
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27 Mar