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book cover of The Madonnas of Leningrad

The Madonnas of Leningrad

(2006)
A novel by

 
This is a brilliant and moving debut novel about one woman's struggle to preserve an artistic heritage from the horrors and destruction of World War II. In this extraordinary first novel by Debra Dean, the siege of Leningrad by German troops in World War Two is echoed by the destructive siege against the mind and memory of an elderly Russian woman. Marina, the woman in question, was a guide at Leningrad's famous Hermitage Museum. In the late autumn of 1941, the Luftwaffe roared over and around Leningrad, she and her colleagues were set the task of taking the thousands of priceless paintings, sculptures and objets d'art out of the grand galleries of the former Tsarist Palace and storing them safely against the German bombardment and seemingly inevitable invasion. The German assault threatened to destroy a large part of Europe's artistic history: if Leningrad fell to the Germans, everything that was not destroyed would be looted and given to the Nazis. Marina, whose own parents had disappeared during Stalin's 1930s' purges of intellectuals, clings to her hope of becoming an art historian herself through her job at the Hermitage. The novel shifts between Marina's experiences at the Hermitage during the siege of Leningrad and her current existence as a very old lady in America whose mind has begun to fray. The shifts are masterfully done: Debra Dean depicts, with subtle skill, the way Marina's mind, already ravaged by disease, picks up some incident, object or person at the wedding she's been brought to, and flips back to the dreadful year-and-a-half in Leningrad which has informed her life ever since. This is an evocative and deeply moving novel about memory itself.

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"An unforgettable story of love, survival;, and the power of imagination... the rare kind of book that you want to keep but you have to share." - Isabel Allende


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Hardback Editions

May 2007 : UK Hardback

Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-7531-7854-0 / 978-0-7531-7854-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: ISIS Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


August 2006 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-7862-8810-8 / 978-0-7862-8810-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2006 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-06-082530-8 / 978-0-06-082530-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

March 2008 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-7531-7855-9 / 978-0-7531-7855-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


April 2007 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-00-721506-1 / 978-0-00-721506-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2007 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-06-082531-6 / 978-0-06-082531-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2006 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-00-721505-3 / 978-0-00-721505-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Audio Editions

April 2013 : USA Audio CD

Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 0-7927-9472-9 / 978-0-7927-9472-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 2012 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon CA   


September 2012 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon UK   


December 2006 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 1-84648-132-5 / 978-1-84648-132-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 2006 : UK Audio CD
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author(s): Debra Dean
ISBN: 1-84648-150-3 / 978-1-84648-150-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

October 2009 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel
Author(s): Debra Dean
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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