Life And Fate, Novikov's Story

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Life and Fate: Novikov's Story

By Vasily Grossman

November, 1942. Novikov, a tank commander, prepares his troops for Operation Uranus, the campaign which is to be the turning point in the Battle of Stalingrad. On his way to the front, he visits Zhenya, his lover, in Kuibyshev. He dreams of marrying her but she is still torn between him and Krymov. She tells an anecdote about Krymov and Trotsky, a slip of the tongue that leads to betrayal.

Dramatised for radio by Mike Walker

Pyotr Pavlovich Novikov....Don Gilet

Getmanov....Philip Jackson

Nyeudobnov....Peter Wight

Zhenya Shaposhnikova....Raquel Cassidy

Nicky....Simon Bubb

Vershkov....Stuart Mcloughlin

Galina Terentyevna....Jane Whittenshaw

Mashuk....Peter Polycarpou

Zhakharov....Sean Baker

With Jonathan Forbes, James Lailey, Daniel Rabin and Alun Raglan

Original music by John Hardy with Rob Whitehead

Directed by Alison Hindell and Jonquil Panting.

Produced by Alison Hindell.

Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star in this eight hour dramatisation of Life and Fate, an epic saga that fills every drama strand on Radio 4 this week.

Set against the ferocious Battle of Stalingrad, this huge novel 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. Grossman died in 1964, never knowing that his book would be smuggled to the West and eventually published in 1980.

Next today: Life and Fate: Abarchuk [link[

Tomorrow: Life and Fate: A Hero of the Soviet Union [link]

Life and Fate: Krymov in Moscow [link].

Novikov, a tank commander, prepares his troops for Operation Uranus, a critical campaign.