In March 1953, four women meet in Room 408 of Moscow's deluxe Hotel Metropol.
They have gathered 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.
The four women, each of whom could claim to have been a muse to the poet, loved or loathed Mayakovsky in the course of his life, and as they piece together their conflicting memories of him, a portrait of the artist as a young idealist emerges.
From his early years as a leader of the Futurist movement to his work as a propagandist for the Revolution, and on to the censorship battles that turned him against the state (and, more ominously, the state against him), their recollections reveal Mayakovsky as a passionate, complex, sexually obsessed man trapped in the epicentre of history, struggling to hold on to his ideals in the face of a revolution betrayed.
Vladimir M is an ambitious, impressive novel that brings to life the tumultuous Stalinist era and the predicament of the artists ensnared in it.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: Duckworth Overlook
- Publication Date: 26/01/2017
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780715651940
- Paperback / softback from £8.45