Far from Moscow and St Petersburg, there lies another Russia. Overlooked by the new urban elites and almost unknown to the West, in the great provincial hinterlands of the Volga River and Siberia, Russians struggle to reconcile their old traditions with the new ways of living. Returning again and again to the deep heartland of this rapidly evolving country from 1992 to the present, Susan Richards struck up some extraordinary friendships.With Anna, a questing journalist struggling to express her passionate spirituality within the rules of the new society. And Natasha, a restless spirit, transplanted from Siberia in a bid to escape the demands of her upper class family and her own demons. And Tatiana and Misha, whose business empire has blossomed from the ashes of the Soviet Union but who, despite all their luxury, seem uneasy in this new world. Through their stories and her own experiences Susan Richards demonstrates how in Russia the past and the present cannot be separated. "Lost and Found in Russia" is a magical and unforgettable portrait of a society in transition.
Susan Richards is the author of Epics of Everyday Life, which won the P.E.N. Time-Life Award for Non-Fiction and the Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award in 1990. She edits open Democracy Russia, part of open Democracy, the website about global affairs which she co-founded. After her doctorate on Alexander Solzhenitsyn from St Antony's College, Oxford University, she initiated the programme of talks, conferences and debates at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts and worked as a film producer. With her husband, the television producer Roger Graef, she started Bookaid, a charity which sent a million English language books to public libraries throughout the Soviet Union.