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.

Brian Moynahan

Brian Moynahan was a foreign correspondent and European editor with the Sunday Times. His many books include The Faith: A History of Christianity, The Russian Century, Comrades, The Claws of the Bear, Rasputin and William Tyndale.

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum, 1962-2015, lived between Sweden and Spain and worked as a translator of Swedish literature into Spanish. Her first book, a collection of short stories entitled Sonetten om andningen (The Sonett on Breathing) (Lejd förlag, 2002), won Sweden's Catapult Prize for best first work of fiction. The Oblique Place was to be her last novel, and was awarded the prestigious Sveriges Radios Novel Prize posthumously.

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, the son of a policeman, read history at Cambridge before working in advertising in London and New York. His novel Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1971.

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.

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.

Felice Benuzzi

Felice Benuzzi was born in Vienna in 1910 and grew up in Trieste, doing his early mountaineering in the Julian Alps. He studied law at Rome University and represented Italy as an international swimmer in 1933-35. Following the conclusion of the war he worked as a diplomat, including with the United Nations. He died in Rome in 1988.

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.

John Bew

John Bew teaches History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King's College London. He was the winner of the 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding achievement in Politics and International Studies and previously held the Henry Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. John is a contributing writer at the New Statesman and the author of five books, including the critically-acclaimed Realpolitik: A History and Castlereagh. He was born in Belfast, educated at Cambridge, and lives in Wimbledon, London.

Laurie Graham

Laurie Graham is a former Daily Telegraph columnist and contributing editor of She magazine. The author of several acclaimed novels, most recently The Grand Duchess of Nowhere and The Night in Question (2015), Laurie lives in Dublin. Visit her website at www.lauriegraham.com

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

Mark Logue

Mark Logue is the grandson of Lionel Logue. He is a film maker and the custodian of the Logue Archive. He lives in London. Peter Conradi is an author and journalist. He works for the Sunday Times and his last book was Hitler's Piano Player: The Rise and fall of Ernst Hanfstaengl.

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 lives in Helensburgh on Scotland's west coast, a few streets away from where W.H. Auden wrote 'The Orators'. Auden's struggle as he conceived this electrifying and genre-busting work was an inspiration for her debut novel Larchfield. As Literature Programmer for Cove Park she brings writers from all over the world to take part in Scotland's International Artist Residency. Her three poetry collections have between them won the Eric Gregory Award, been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and twice been selected as one of the Poetry Book Society's books of the year.

Rob Lofthouse

Robert Lofthouse was born in Twickenham and joined his local county infantry regiment (1 PWRR) straight from school at the age of sixteen. After serving 20 years, having served in Poland, Germany, Kenya, Canada, Falkland Islands, Iraq, Northern Ireland, and Kosovo, he retired in the rank of Sergeant.He now works as a defence consultant and lives in Portsmouth with his wife and three children.

Robert Lyman

Robert Lyman is a respected military history specialist and his previous books include The Longest Siege: Tobruk; Slim, Master of War; Operation Suicide and Into the Jaws of Death. He lives in Berkshire, England.

Rosie Archer

Rosie Archer was born in Gosport, Hampshire, where she still lives. She has had a variety of jobs including waitress, fruit picker, barmaid, shop assistant and market trader selling second-hand books. Rosie is the author of The Munitions Girls, The Canary Girls, The Factory Girls and The Gunpowder and Glory Girls as well as a series of gangster sagas under the name June Hampson.