To The Land! - Tromping in New Russia c.1995
Rescued after 20 years in a literary gulag, the story and photos of two months of tromping through New Russia in 1995 is free at last.
Saint Petersburg Alive!
This is Russia circa 1995.....
The Soviet Union dissolved, and Russia was suddenly "free"! This will be a killer book loaded with travel tales, odd stories, and more than 40 black-and-white photos from an unusual and tumultuous time in Russian society.
"To the Land!" is nearly ready to go to press. I have more than 20 years of publishing experience, including a 15+ year run editing the lit-mag "First Class." You can check out some of it at www.four-sep.com. After all that time publishing the work of others, and keeping my own projects on a seemingly perpetual backburner, I put the lit-mag on hiatus and began to edit, layout and design this project.
Here's what a sample page spread looks like:
The black and white photos were all shot on TMax-400 film, and the journal was handwritten in a series of notebooks. Was 1995 really that long ago?
The 6x9-inch perfect-bound book will be printed on US presses on high quality paper with a fancy, sturdy full-color cover. At the moment it is pushing 200 pages. I kept my goal reasonable, and my pledges fair, so everyone can take a shot on a good read.
But it's old! 1995? Why should we care?
Because social transformation is always interesting, and is happening around us every day. And we can learn much by learning about other people, regardless of the era.
Though originally intended as a private journal, ‘TO THE LAND!’ has mutated into social commentary, analysis, story, documentary... even a travel guide of sorts. I was fortunate to have been in Russia during a holiday-packed period in 1995 which allowed me to participate in the culture in ways that are otherwise not normally in plain view.
This is no scholarly thesis, although I approached both Russia and my journals with the background of a degree in Russian Area Studies and a minor in the Russian language. In Russia, I did not “research” my topic; I walked among it, questioned it, and drank with it (lots...). Posh tourist hotels were not on the agenda and bus tours were taboo. Besides covering mass distances on the Metro, my feet were my transportation.
This story is by no means definitive of life in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in 1995, but it is always accurate. Much was changing, rapidly, during this period in Russian history. Lifestyles, values and daily activity varied from person to person, day to day, week to week, and month to month..... this does not imply an absence of tradition or values, just that Russian society, at that time, was metamorphosing, as it has done so many times in its storied history.
I am a passionate supporter of bookstores and tangible things, which is why great effort is being made to produce a quality book. However, I recognize that eBooks have their place in this world, so I wanted to make both available.
The postcards are from images in the book which I thought would make interesting mailing pieces, or nice decoration. The Russian stamps will be from my personal collection, and will be cool. I promise. All Russian stamps are cool.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Risks and challenges
The obvious challenge is making the goal. After that, I push the "go" button and the printer knocks the books through the press. I set August as a delivery date to give myself a little cushion, but I hope to get these out even sooner. However, in the world of printing (and the world in general) one must account for potential delays.
I have a committed quote on the book, the layout and design is done, I understand the logistics of printing and book order fulfillment, and am excited to get this book in your hands.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)