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In March 1953, four women meet in Room 408 of Moscow’s deluxe Metropole Hotel. They have gathered, not altogether willingly, to reminisce about Vladimir Mayakovsky, the poet who in death had become a national idol of Soviet Russia. In life, however, he was a much more complicated figure.
Each of these ladies loved Mayakovsky in the course of his life, and as they piece together their memories of him, a portrait of the artist emerges. From his early years as a leader of the Futurist movement to years as a propagandist for the Revolution, to the censorship battles that turned him against the State, Mayakovsky is revealed as a passionate, complex man who lived at the center of history and fought to hold onto his ideals even in the face of a world changing for the worse.
The Mayakovsky Tapes is an ambitious, impressive novel that captures the tumultuous life of one of the most significant writers of the Soviet era.