Lina Prokofiev

Lina Prokofiev, New York, 1922

in Conversation 

   Noelle Mann

To mark the 50th Anniversary of Prokofiev's death, Three Oranges is publishing for the first time extracts from interviews with Lina Prokofiev, which contain her earliest recollections of Prokofiev in America. No sooner had she returned to the West in the mid-1970s, than Lina was urged by a number of people to write a book, a testimony of her life with her husband. Her first instinct was to refuse, as she felt that their private life belonged only to themselves. Writing such a book, she declared, would be a “sort of striptease, not of clothes, but of our souls, of our insides in the middle of the street”. With time, however, she came to think that she ought to put her memoirs on paper since “there were very few, less and less if any, people left who knew him well”. But her memory was very patchy by then, and in the summer of 1979 she called writer Harvey Sachs to the rescue. At her request he conducted a series of interviews which, they hoped, would fill the many gaps in her recollections and also provide a framework for her book. If in the end Lina did not write her book, the five audio tapes that remain offer a moving and at times hilarious image of the strong-willed and impressively vivacious lady, who was then nearly 82.   Next

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