Newly arrived from the provinces, the young Lily becomes a prostitute working the streets of Petrograd.
Soon she is recruited by the Bolsheviks to a higher category of working woman to service the Communist elite.
At the age of twenty-three she makes a fortuitous marriage to Andrei Bourbon, poet, Futurist and artistic colleague of Malevich, Mayakovsky, Burliuk and others.
One day Bourbon takes some of Lily's poems to the official children's newspaper Pionerskaya Pravda.
With the aid of an airbrushed and suitably 'revolutionary' biography, her poems are immediately published as children's books. Andrei Bourbon disappears in the purges and Lily becomes poet laureate and an ideal symbol of the Soviet era.
After further marriages and the eventual collapse of the dictatorship, Lily manages to escape Russia for the USA where she marries a naive American communist to start all over again...A contemporary picaresque novel, Madonna from Russia is fiction with Druzhnikov's unique combination of satire, humour and documentary twist.
Now in its third Russian edition, the book was nominated for the 'Russian National Bestseller' prize in 2002.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 220 pages
- Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
- Publication Date: 30/06/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780720612554