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Biography & Autobiography Literary

Valerii Pereleshin

The Life of a Silkworm

by (author) Olga Bakich

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2015
Literary, Eastern, Eastern, Gay Studies, Spanish & Portuguese, General, Gender Studies
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2015
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    Publish Date
    Mar 2015
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Olga Bakich’s biography of Valerii Pereleshin (1913–1992) follows the turbulent life and exquisite poetry of one of the most remarkable Russian émigrés of the twentieth century. Born in Irkutsk, Pereleshin lived for thirty years in China and for almost forty years in Brazil. Multilingual, he wrote poetry in Russian and in Portuguese and translated Chinese and Brazilian poetry into Russian and Russian and Chinese poetry into Portuguese. For many years he struggled to accept and express his own identity as a gay man within a frequently homophobic émigré community. His poems addressed his three homelands, his religious struggles, and his loves. In Valerii Pereleshin: The Life of a Silkworm, Bakich delves deep into Pereleshin’s poems and letters to tell the rich life story of this underappreciated writer.

About the author

Olga Bakich has retired from teaching Russian language and Russian émigré literature at the University of Toronto.

Olga Bakich's profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘This book offers its reader a mind-blowing adventure: it is the story of the life and writing of a twentieth century Russian poet at once too strange, too radical, and too good to be true.’

The Russian review vol 75:02:2016

‘The book is impressively researched, with a formidable scholarly apparatus…. Even more remarkable is Bakich’s deft handling of a bewilderingly complex context.’

Slavic & East European Journal vol 61:02:2017