Related to: 'Avenging Angels'

MacLehose Press

Defending the Motherland

Lyuba Vinogradova
Authors:
Lyuba Vinogradova

Plucked from every background, and led by an N.K.V.D. Major, the new recruits who boarded a train in Moscow on 16th October 1941 to go to war had much in common with millions of others across the world. What made the 586th Fighter Regiment, the 587th Heavy-bomber Regiment and the 588th Regiment of light night-bombers unique was their gender: the Soviet Union was creating the first all-female active combat units in modern history.Drawing on original interviews with surviving airwomen, Lyuba Vinogradova weaves together the untold stories of the female Soviet fighter pilots of the Second World War. From that first train journey to the last tragic disappearance, Vinogradova's panoramic account of these women's lives follows them from society balls to unmarked graves, from landmark victories to the horrors of Stalingrad. Battling not just fearsome Aces of the Luftwaffe but also patronising prejudice from their own leaders, women such as Lilya Litvyak and Ekaterina Budanova are brought to life by the diaries and recollections of those who knew them, and who watched them live, love, fight and die.

Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik has been writing for the New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism, and the George Polk Award for magazine reporting. From 1995 to 2000 he lived in Paris; he now lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.

Andrea Bajani

Andrea Bajani is an Italian writer and journalist, born in Rome in 1975. He has won the Premio Mondello and the Premio Bagutta for his fiction, the latter for Every Promise in 2011.

Andreï Makine

Andreï Makine was born in Siberia, but writes his novels in French. Le Testament Français was the winner of the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medici, and the first novel to win both of these prestigious awards.

Andrey Kurkov

Born near Leningrad in 1961, Kurkov was a journalist, prison warder, cameraman and screenplay-writer before his novels took off. He received "hundreds of rejections" and was a pioneer of self-publishing, selling more than 75,000 copies of his books in a single year. His novel Death and the Penguin, his first in English translation, was an international bestseller, drawing acclaim from all quarters. He lives in Kiev with his English wife and their three children.

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is the author of CRETE: The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), STALINGRAD (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize), BERLIN: The Downfall, THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN (Premio La Vanguardia), D-DAY: The Battle for Normandy (Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal), THE SECOND WORLD WAR, ARDENNES 1944 (Prix Médicis shortlist) and ARNHEM: The Battle for the Bridges. The number one bestselling historian in Britain, Beevor's books have appeared in thirty-two languages and have sold just over seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received a number of honorary doctorates. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London. He was knighted in 2017.

Arch Tait

ARCH TAIT has translated many leading Russian writers of today. For his translation of Anna Politkovskaya's Putin's Russia he was the winner of the inaugural P.E.N. Literature in Translation Prize in 2010.

Damien Lewis

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.

Derek Robinson

Derek Robinson¿s acclaimed First World War trilogy and Piece of Cake have established him as the world¿s best aviation writer and one of the top authors of war fiction.

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island, her biography of Alexander Selkirk, or as he is better known, Robinson Crusoe.

Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths was born in London. She worked in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Her bestselling series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, are set in Norfolk. The series has won the CWA Dagger in the Library, and has been shortlisted three times for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Her Stephens and Mephisto series is based in 1950s Brighton. She lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist, and their two children.

Euan Cameron

Euan Cameron's translations include works by Julien Green, Simone de Beauvoir and Paul Morand, and biographies of Marcel Proust and Irène Némirovsky.

Ingrid Carlberg

Ingrid Carlberg is a Swedish author and journalist. Her book about the life and destiny of Raoul Wallenberg was awarded the August Prize for best work of non-fiction 2012. Her biography was also awarded the Swedish Academy's Axel Hirsch Prize in 2013. Ingrid Carlberg worked at the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter from 1990 to 2010, specializing in investigative and narrative journalism. She has a honorary doctorate at Uppsala University, awarded for her book The Pill, 2008. This historical narrative about the history of antidepressants also recieved the Swedish journalistic prize Guldspaden 2008, for best work of investigative journalism. Between 2012 and 2013, Carlberg was a guest professor in journalism at the University of Gothenburg.

Irina Prokhorova

IRINA PROKHOROVA is a literary critic and cultural historian, and editor-in-chief of the magazine and publishing house New Literary Observer. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the Liberty Prize for her contribution to the development of Russo-American cultural relations, the Andrei Bely Prize for literature, and in December 2012 she was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. She came to international prominence in 2012 when, with her brother Mikhail Prokhorov standing for the presidency, she took part in a live debate against the filmmaker and Putin supporter Nikita Mikhalkov.

Jean-Paul Kauffmann

Jean-Paul Kauffmann is the author of The Dark Room at Longwood (1999), an exploration of Napoleon's exile on St Helena, Desolation Island (2001) and Wrestling with the Angel (2003). He was a journalist until 1985, when he was kidnapped in Beirut and only released three years later. Since then he has been editor of both Amateur de Bordeaux and Amateur de Cigare magazines. Euan Cameron's translations include works by Julien Green, Simone de Beauvoir and Paul Morand, biographies of Marcel Proust and Irène Némirovsky, and most recently Monsieur Linh and His Child, by Philippe Claudel.

Jim Shepard

Jim Shepard is the National Book Award-finalist and highly acclaimed author of seven novels and five collections of stories, including The Book of Aron and Like You'd Understand, Anyway. He lives in Massachusetts with his family and teaches creative writing at the historic liberal arts establishment Williams College. Widely acclaimed as one of the US's finest writers, The World to Come is the first collection of his short stories to be published in the UK.

Lyuba Vinogradova

Dr Lyuba Vinogradova was born in Moscow in 1973. After graduating from the Moscow Agricultural Academy with a PhD in microbiology, she took a second degree in foreign languages. In 1995 she was introduced to Antony Beevor and helped him research Stalingrad. Since then she has worked on many other research projects, and is the co-author (together with Beevor) of A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army. Her book about Russian women fighter pilots, Defending the Motherland, a companion volume to this, was published in 2015, with an introduction by Antony Beevor

Otto de Kat

Otto de Kat is the pen name of Dutch publisher, poet, novelist and critic Jan Guert Gaarlandt. His prize-winning novels have been widely published in Europe, and Man on the Move was the winner of the Netherlands' Halewijn Literature Prize.

Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr has written over thirty books of which the best-known are the internationally renowned and bestselling Bernie Gunther series. The sixth book in the series, If the Dead Rise Not, won the CWA Historical Dagger. His other works include several standalone thrillers, non-fiction and an acclaimed series for younger readers, The Children of the Lamp. Philip died in March 2018, days before the publication of his 13th Bernie Gunther thriller, Greeks Bearing Gifts. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature shortly before his death.

Polly Clark

Polly Clark was born in Toronto and divides her time between Helensburgh on Scotland's west coast and a houseboat in London. Her poetry collections have between them won the Eric Gregory Award and been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Michael Marks Awards. Her first novel Larchfield won the MsLexia Novel Prize and was published in 2017 to critical acclaim. She has worked as a zookeeper at Edinburgh Zoo, where her fascination with Siberian tigers began. For Tiger she undertook a research trip to the remote Russian taiga, where, in the depths of the Siberian winter, at temperatures of -35C, she learned how to track wild tigers.