1993 was the most brutal of the post-collapse years in Moscow, and it was also the year I moved there without really knowing any better. I woke up in a society where few institutions functioned, mobsters in tracksuits flourished, and chewing gum was worth more than money. Red Ticket is my memoir about Russia after it lost the Cold War (remember when we used to say that?), and about social and personal collapse. [more inside]
My book is based on the stories told by my family and their friends, refugees who escaped from Communist Hungary during the revolution, as well as fragments that I found in books and interviews of others. Many incidents actually happened, many did not, but my goal in writing it is not historical accuracy: I want to share the stories of the Hungarian freedom fighters of '56 in a way that reflects their courage and humanity into our century, because they deserve to be remembered.