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On a midsummer day in 1937, Boris Bibikov kissed his two daughters goodbye and disappeared. One of those girls, Lyudmila, was to fall in love with a tall young foreigner in Moscow at the height of the Cold War and embark on a dangerous and passionate affair. Decades later, a reporter in nineties Moscow, her son Owen Matthews pieces together his grandfather's passage through the harrowing world of Stalin's purges, and tells the story of his parents' Cold War love affair through their heartbreaking letters and memories. Stalin's Children is a raw, vivid memoir about a young man's struggle to understand his parents' lives and the history of the strange country in which they lived.
Owen Matthews was born in London and spent part of his childhood in America. He studied Modern History at Oxford University before beginning his career as a journalist in Bosnia. In 1995 he accepted a job at The Moscow Times, a daily English-language newspaper. He also freelanced for a number of publications including The Times, the Spectator and the Independent. In 1997, he became a correspondent at Newsweek magazine in Moscow where he covered the second Chechen war, as well as politics and society. Owen was also one of the first journalists to witness the start of the US bombing in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, 2001, and went on to cover the invasion of Iraq, 2003. Owen is currently Newsweek magazine's bureau chief in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.