Dinner with the Dissidents
by John Tesarsch
It is 1970, and cracks are appearing in the Soviet Union as it struggles to quell dissident voices. Censored at home, the Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn is lauded in the West for exposing the underbelly of communism, and is rumoured to be writing his most damaging work yet. The Kremlin is worried; Solzhenitsyn must be stopped.
The KGB turns to Leonid Krasnov, an aspiring young writer. They promise to make him Moscow’s next literary star if he will infiltrate Solzhenitsyn’s inner circle and report back on what the great author is hiding. At first Leonid complies, but when he falls in love with Klara, a brilliant dissident cellist, his allegiances waver. By then he is already enmeshed in a plot more sinister than he could ever have imagined. Many years later, Leonid is living a reclusive life in Canberra under an assumed name. Haunted by his past, he seeks one last, desperate chance to make amends.
Dinner with the Dissidents is a gripping portrayal of tumultuous times, and a thrilling story of love, courage and deception.