The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

ISBN: 0374347018

ISBN 13: 9780374347017

Publication Date: August 21, 2007

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Pages: 56

Format: Hardcover

Author: Peter Sís

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I was born at the beginning of it all, on the Red side--the Communist side--of the Iron Curtain. Through annotated illustrations, journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sí­s shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Sí­s learned about beat poetry, rock 'n' roll, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola. He let his hair grow long, secretly read banned books, and joined a rock band. Then came the Prague Spring of 1968, and for a teenager who wanted to see the world and meet the Beatles, this was a magical time. It was short-lived, however, brought to a sudden and brutal end by the Soviet-led invasion. But this brief flowering had provided a glimpse of new possibilities--creativity could be discouraged but not easily killed.

By joining memory and history, Sí­s takes us on his extraordinary journey: from infant with paintbrush in hand to young man borne aloft by the wings of his art.