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Twilight of Love : Travels With Turgenev - Robert Dessaix

Twilight of Love

Travels With Turgenev

By: Robert Dessaix

Paperback | 1 July 2017 | Edition Number 2

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Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award

Winner of the Margaret Scott Prize


For forty years, until the day he died, Ivan Turgenev, one of the greatest novelists of Russia’s Golden Age, was passionately devoted to the diva Pauline Viardot. He followed her and her husband around Europe, even living with them amicably at times as part of their household. Yet as far as we know, the relationship with Pauline was chaste. What then did Turgenev mean by ‘love’, the word at the core of his life and work?

In a remarkable work of memoir, literary biography and travel writing, Robert Dessaix has found the pulse that still quickened Turgenev’s age, but has failed in ours.

About the Author

Robert Dessaix is a writer of fiction, autobiography and the occasional essay. From 1985 to 1995, after teaching Russian language and literature for many years at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales, he presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC Radio National. In more recent years he has also presented radio series on Australian public intellectuals and great travellers in history, as well as regular programs on language.

His best-known books, all translated into several European languages, are his autobiography A Mother's Disgrace; the novels Night Letters and Corfu; a collection of essays and short stories (and so forth); and the travel memoirs Twilight of Love and Arabesques. In 2012 he published the collection of originally spoken pieces As I Was Saying, and in 2014 the meditation What Days Are For. A full-time writer since 1995, Robert Dessaix lives in Hobart, Tasmania.
Industry Reviews

‘The most inventive portrait of a writer’s life and legacy since Flaubert’s Parrot.’ The Independent

‘A marvellous and unusual book.’ The Sunday Times

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