Life And Fate, Abarchuk

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Life and Fate: Abarchuk

By Vasily Grossman

Lyuda's ex-husband, Abarchuk, is still a staunch believer in the Party even though he was sent to a Russian labour camp some years ago. In November 1942, he assumes his son, Tolya, is fighting for the motherland and composes a letter to him about his beliefs; beliefs that may have been shaken by a recent encounter with his former mentor, Magar.

Dramatised for radio by Mike Walker

Abarchuk....Malcolm Storry

Rubin....Peter Polycarpou

Barkhatov....Alun Raglan

Magar....Sean Baker

Mishanin....Jonathan Forbes

With Simon Bubb, James Lailey, Stuart Mcloughlin and Daniel Rabin

Original music by John Hardy with Rob Whitehead

Translated by Robert Chandler

Directed and Produced by Alison Hindell

Kenneth Branagh, Janet Suzman, David Tennant, Greta Scacchi, Malcolm Storry and Harriet Walter star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. This epic saga takes over every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.

Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, Life and Fate is a sweeping historical tale that charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war and is increasingly hailed as the most important Russian novel of the 20th century. Its comparison of Stalinism with Nazism was considered by Soviet authorities to be so dangerous that the manuscript itself was arrested and Grossman was told that it would not be published for at least 200 years. He died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.

This afternoon: Life and Fate: Building 6/1 - Those Who Were Still Alive [link]

Tomorrow: Life and Fate: Lieutenant Peter Bach [link]

Life and Fate: Novikov's Story [link].

Even faithful Communists were sent to the Gulag, as Lyuda's ex-husband knows to his cost.