The Madonnas of Leningrad

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The Madonnas of Leningrad, Debra Dean's first novel, tells the story of Marina, a docent at the State Hermitage Museum during the 900-day Siege of Leningrad. Marina's clear and detailed recollections of the Hermitage collection and the war are interspersed with her current dementia-impaired life in Seattle, Washington as she prepares to attend a granddaughter's wedding. The novel uses the vivid memories of the past to contrast with the struggles of an Alzheimer's victim in dealing with everyday life. The book is recommended for anyone interested in art history, specifically the Hermitage collections, the history of the Eastern Front (World War II), psychological fiction dealing with elderly people and immigrants.


  • Debra Dean (2006). The Madonnas of Leningrad. New York: William Morrow. ISBN 0-06-082530-8.