An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

By Annie Dillard

A publication that immediately captured the hearts of readers around the nation, An American Childhood is Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard's poignant, bright memoir of turning out to be up in Pittsburgh within the Fifties.

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This was a disaster, because it contained a number of important statements by dissidents that needed to be published, and these people had confided and put their trust in me. However, the Ministry could not be moved: diplomatic mail was not for dissident samizdat, and hence the envelope remained in the ministerial safe. I had to take out all the samizdat I could not send via correspondents or diplomats. That could not be done, of course, in my suitcase or hand luggage, as the border control was very strict and I was searched from top to bottom, especially after 1983.

In both cases he could, of course, forget about this donor, but also didn’t realize that donors have their own network and that such a letter could be passed around. In the 1970s, Henk Wolzak had been in charge of the campaigns to obtain the release of Vladimir Bukovsky in The Netherlands. He had been in the Soviet Union several times, visited families of political prisoners and other dissidents, but because of his lack of knowledge of languages, he had not been able to really communicate with them.

He listened carefully but was clearly not amused. Such simple methods, and never discovered, that was apparently too much of a damage to his image of the KGB. Big Brother is watching you It took some years before I found myself in the orbit of the KGB. After I had imagined a KGB officer behind each tree during my first trip, I became more quiet and convinced that all was OK. Whether they were there or no, I didn’t see them. If they weren’t there it was excellent, it meant that they still didn’t know who I was.

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