Igor Golomstock (1929 - 2017) was a distinguished Russian art historian. He spent 12 years working as researcher and curator at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and published books on Cezanne, Picasso, Hieronymus Bosch and the art of ancient Mexico, as well as the seminal study of 'totalitarian art'. His translations of Darkness at Noon and Animal Farm circulated widely in samizdat among the Moscow intelligentsia in the late 1950s. After emigrating to the UK, Golomstock taught at the universities of St Andrews, Essex and Oxford, and worked for the BBC Russian Service and Radio Liberty. Sara Jolly is a literary translator. She has also worked as a freelance documentary filmmaker and edited two episodes of the BBC's prize-winning series about perestroika, The Second Russian Revolution and Sally Potter's documentary about women in Soviet cinema, I'm a Horse, I'm an Ox. Boris Dralyuk is a literary translator and the Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the translator, most recently, of Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories and Mikhail Zoshchenko's Sentimental Tales.
Written in brisk, engaging prose, with a salutary dash of gallows humour ... So rich is it in detail of key institutions and figures that it stands in its own right as a singularly valuable record of the era and milieu ... An apt companion to Golomstock's own critical work. * Times Literary Supplement * `Igor Golomstock was a talented critic of Russian and Western art and he had an extraordinary biography, from childhood in Kolyma to dissident years in Moscow, followed by emigration to Britain. He writes about all this like a Solzhenitsyn character come to life, and the result is gripping, sad and often very funny. A must for anyone who wants to understand Russia and Russian culture.' -- Catriona Kelly, Professor of Russian, University of Oxford and author of St Petersburg: Shadows of the Past `Golomstock recounts in lively style his life in three separate communities: the Moscow art world of the 1960s, the human rights movement and the post-1970s emigre milieu of London, Paris and Munich. He is an observer with strong but discriminating opinions; seldom have the personalities who inhabited these worlds - and who in many cases hated each other - been so vividly portrayed. This is an essential study for those who wish to understand the cultural and political conflicts of the late Soviet Union and the Russian emigration.' -- Geoffrey Hosking, Emeritus Professor of Russian History, University College London and author of Russia and the Russians: From Earliest Times to the Present `A Ransomed Dissident is Igor Golomstock's most personal book and a perfect companion to his encyclopedic study Totalitarian Art (2012). In the past, some critics have argued that the term `Totalitarian Art' was too vague and that its very vagueness made it too easy to apply the term to such different countries as Russia, Germany, Italy and China. Following Golomstock's dramatic journey through the circles of the Soviet totalitarian art and culture, however, readers of A Ransomed Dissident will see how the supposedly vague term acquired a very real existential meaning. This is important reading for anyone with an interest in the history and politics of Russian art.' -- Vladimir Paperny, Adjunct Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, UCLA