Moscow, March 1953: As Stalin breathes his last, four women meet in Room 408 of the luxurious hotel Metropol. They have gathred to reminisce about the great poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose work they once inspired. Following his mysterious suicide twenty-five years earlier, he was canonised by Stalin - but in life he was a far
more complicated man, violently torn between art and politics. As his muses piece together their conflicting memories of the man, a portrait of the artist as a tormented young idealist emerges, revealing him as a sexual obsessive caught in the eye of history's storm, struggling to hold on to his ideals in the face of a revolution betrayed. In Vladimir M., Robert Littell creates a provocative cocktail of fiction and reality, bringing to life the tumultuous Stalinist era and the disaster it spelt for the artists it ensnared.
ROBERT LITTELL is the author of more than a dozen novels, including A Nasty Piece of Work, Legends, the Stalin Epigram and Young Philby, all published by Duckworth. He has been awarded the CWA Gold Dagger and the LA Times Book Prize, and his novel The Company was a New York Times bestseller. Both The Company and Legends have been adapted for television. He lives in Paris.