Item description for From Newbury With Love: Letters of Friendship Across the Iron Curtain by Marina Aidova & Anna Horsbrugh-Porter...
"One of the most moving books you'll ever read—a powerful tribute to the far-reaching effect a single act of kindness can have." -Time Out London
In 1971 a retired English bookseller joined an Amnesty International campaign to write letters to children of political prisoners. He chose seven-year-old Marina Aidova because her birthday was one day before his, and he had always loved Russia and its literature. His postcard was signed, "With love from Newbury, Berks, England." Marina, whose father was in one of the harshest Soviet prison camps, wrote back: "I am a first class schoolgirl. I learn ballet and study English. And what are you?"
So began a correspondence that changed their lives. For the next fifteen years they exchanged letters, telegrams, magazines, and books . . . while a profound affection grew. Marina and her mother drew great strength from the exchange-it was a lifeline to another, more hopeful world. Through Harold's encouragement, Marina was inspired to study English at university, and eventually went on to work as an English translator.
Published in association with Amnesty International, the families' correspondence-along with over thirty photos they exchanged-is collected here, making for a moving look at the powerful influence one family can have on another in need, halfway around the world.
Anna Horsbrugh-Porter is a radio producer who has worked for the BBC World Service, BBC Radio Four, and independent production companies.
Marina Aidova works as an English translator for international organizations including the IMF.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Melville House
ISBN 1933633220 ISBN13 9781933633220
Availability 0 units.
More About Marina Aidova & Anna Horsbrugh-Porter
Anna Horsbrugh-Porter is a radio journalist with the BBC.
Reviews - What do customers think about From Newbury With Love: Letters of Friendship Across the Iron Curtain?
Hope springs from the seemingly banal Dec 1, 2007
This collection of letters can be put down and taken up at any point without losing the thread. In that sense it is almost suitable for bathroom reading. However, the human rights context in which the letters are exchanged make this a special kind of book. When Marina's father is serving seven years in the gulag, her mother Lera discovers a humble post card in her mailbox: "Lera stood paralyzed in front of her door; it seemed a miracle that someone living in England could write to her daughter, that this postcard could have penetrated her isolation. It was like seeing an angel." (pages xx-xxi) An exchange of some 15 years results, as letters, books, chocolates and clothing cross the Iron Curtain, despite constant KGB surveillance.
The book is published with the help of Amnesty International, through which, as the book's end matter explains, "there are many ways you can protect individuals at risk or violations of their human rights--including prisoners of conscience . . . One simple but effective way to take action, at the heart of Amnesty International's work, is writing letters. Letters do make a difference: whether they bring hope and support to prisoners of conscience and their families, or put pressure on governments and countries to change their policies. As Lera said: `It is difficult to explain how greatly our life changed after that first post card. I never felt lonely any more...Harold and Olive's letters changed my life--they gave me hope.'