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The Archivist's Story

The Archivist's Story

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It is Moscow, in 1939. In the recesses of the infamous Lubyanka prison, a young archivist is sent to verify the authorship of an unfinished story, confiscated from one of the many political prisoners there. The writer is Isaac Babel. The great author of "Red Cavalry" is spending his last days forbidden to write, his final works consigned to the archivist, Pavel Dubrov - who will ultimately be charged with destroying them. Pavel, a former schoolmaster and a lover of literature, a reluctant minion in Stalin's system, makes a reckless decision: he will save the last stories of the writer he admires, whatever the cost. Pavel's daring in the face of a vast bureaucracy of evil invigorates a life that had slowly lost its meaning, even as it guarantees his almost certain undoing. A story of suspicion, courage and unexpected grace, "The Archivist's Story" is ultimately a tribute to the enduring power of the written word.