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  • Published: 10 February 2022
  • ISBN: 9781473596139
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

Iron Curtain

A Love Story




Two worlds on the brink of change in a love story doomed to disaster

'A book so full of steel and compassion that it stands glitteringly apart' Rachel Cusk

Milena is a Red Princess living in a Soviet Satellite state in the 1980s. She enjoys limitless luxury and limited freedom; the end of the Cold War seems unimaginable.

When she meets Jason, a confident British poet, Milena is appalled by his political naivety and his poor choice of footwear. Still, they fall into bed together, and before long Milena is secretly planning to defect to Britain.

1980s London defies her privileged expectations. The rented flat is grim and the food is disgusting but she is with the man she loves and there are no hidden cameras to record her every move. But then Milena discovers that Jason's idea of freedom hurts even more...

With sharp wit and tender precision, Vesna Goldsworthy unpicks the failures of family and state. Iron Curtain is a sly, elegant human drama that challenges the myths we tell ourselves.

'A wonderful, perfectly-pitched novel: full of delightful intrigue and wry insight about the human predicament and its unique tensions' William Boyd

  • Published: 10 February 2022
  • ISBN: 9781473596139
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the author

Vesna Goldsworthy

Vesna Goldsworthy comes from Belgrade. She began her writing life as a poet and aged 22 performed her poetry to thirty thousand people at a football stadium. At 24 she moved to the UK and started writing in English, her third language. Her widely-translated books include a prize-winning poetry collection The Angel of Salonika; an internationally bestselling memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries; and the London-based novels Gorsky and Monsieur Ka. A former BBC World Service journalist, she is now an academic and occasional broadcaster.

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Praise for Iron Curtain

Vesna Goldsworthy's masterly novel retains the grace and resilience of literary art while wading deep into the most riveting human drama, in which people are not so much motivated as ordained by history to enact and desire certain things. It interrogates the very notions of character and narrative and fate, while offering the most scintillating example of how a story can and should be made from them. Goldsworthy is at once the most impartial and the tenderest of observers, a bold dramatist and a subtle humorist, and she has written a book so full of steel and compassion that it stands glitteringly apart.

Rachel Cusk

In Vesna Goldsworthy's gripping new novel...the story she tells in a chilly first person is embedded in 80s cold-war battles and eternal sexual politics... With grace and a dose of forgiveness, Goldsworthy performs a heartbreaking but exhilarating evisceration of the myths by which we live now.

Nancy K. Miller

An original and memorable re-imagining of the Medea story. Combining acute observation of social customs on either side of the Iron Curtain, with a profound understanding of the timeless realities of love, betrayal and the desire for revenge, Vesna Goldsworthy takes this most shocking of ancient Greek myths and brings it unforgettably into our world.

Pat Barker

A wonderful, perfectly-pitched novel: full of delightful intrigue and wry insight about the human predicament and its unique tensions.

William Boyd

An extraordinary evocation of two wildly contrasted worlds. First an unnamed East European autocracy in the last decade of Soviet Communism, and the unimaginably privileged but sterile and precarious life of its leaders; and then, when the daughter of one of them falls in love with a visiting English poet and defects to the West, of the only too imaginably scruffy world of penniless London bohemia. Vesna Goldsworthy writes so well! The barbed precision of her glittering high naturalism gives the story an almost dreamlike intensity. The end, when the dream of love and freedom turns sour, is shattering.

Michael Frayn

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