Zinovy Zinik

Five short autobiographies in two languages. 2. Russian novelist Zinovy Zinik came from Moscow to London via Jerusalem in 1976. He worked for the BBC World Service and speaks brilliant if cranky English. As he left, the authorities in the Soviet Union took his passport with its hammer and sickle on the cover and cut it in two with a pair of scissors. He was henceforth blacklisted and unable to return to his homeland for fifteen years. Yet throughout that emigration, and ever since, Russian has remained his language. He reflects on his mother tongue and his fatherland and the solace Sidney Bechet's clarinet playing offered a young boy in 1950s red Moscow. Producer: Tim Dee.

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Tue 21 May 2013 13:45