Illus. VG in VG DJ. When the writer Isaac Babel was arrested by Stalin's secret police May 1949 he said to his wife, they didn't let me finish. Eight months later he was shot by the NKVD although it would be another 50 years before the full story of his trial and execution was revealed. Laid in news clipping of Antonina Pirozhkova 1909-2010 obituary his common-law widow who died at 101. Babel was more famous for how he died than how he had lived. He spent the last 7 years of his life with Antonina whose account of his arrest and disappearance is so moving because she first makes Babel so fantastically alive writes Richard Lourie in 1996 in the NY Times. A civil engineer, Antonina helped design Moscow's palatial subway system and worked on intimidating projects in the mountainous Caucasus region. Few corner creases, slight fading to DJ spine.
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