With the writers of the golden age as her guides—Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gogol, and Turgenev, among others—Sara Wheeler searches for a Russia not in the news, traveling from rinsed northwestern beet fields and the Far Eastern Arctic tundra to the cauldron of nationalities, religions, and languages in the Caucasus. Bypassing major cities as much as possible, she goes instead to the places associated with the country’s literary masters. Wheeler weaves these writers’ lives and works around their historical homes, giving us rich portraits of the many diverse Russias from which these writers spoke.
Illustrated with both historical images and contemporary snapshots of the people and places that shaped her journey, Mud and Stars gives us timely, witty, and deeply personal insights into Russia, then and now.
One of Smithsonian’s Ten Best Travel Books of the Year