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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Novel About The Iron Curtain & Thatcher's Britain

A lauded new novel upends the stereotypes about the Iron Curtain and Thatcher's Britain.

The novel from University of Exeter academic, Vesna Goldsworthy, recreates the heady days of Thatcher's Britain and a life in a Soviet satellite state in the last years of the Cold War. Vesna is an acclaimed novelist, memoirist, poet, former BBC journalist as well a creative writing professor at Exeter.

She has produced 6 internationally best-selling and prize-winning books, translated into 16 languages. Two of which have been serialised by the BBC (a memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries and a novel, Gorsky). She writes her novels in English, but this is her third language.

Her latest novel, Iron Curtain: A Love Story, is partly inspired by memories of her own arrival to England from former Yugoslavia, it tells the story of Milena, a "Red Princess" daughter of a leading figure in a communist regime, She falls in love with Jason, a confident British poet and secretly escapes to Britain. London is not what she expects and her life is impoverished, but she is with the man she loves.

Professor Goldsworthy said: "The story may not be autobiographical, but the setting is. I wanted to recreate this era as I experienced it, coming from a communist country. Milena's homeland is imaginary, a composite of ingredients, from Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, with dashes of former Yugoslavia. I contrast it with 1980s Britain and show how Milena encounters both those worlds, hopefully turning a few stereotypes on their heads."

So far, the book has had some great reviews and endorsed by leading authors such as William Boyd, Pat Barker and Rachel Cusk.

The Times newspaper described it as "a piercingly evocative East-West love story."

Iron Curtain, A Love Story by Vesna Goldworthy was released earlier this year by publishers Chatto & Windus. Available at all good bookshops and online stores.

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