From the bestselling author of Philomena comes a beautiful and heartbreaking tale about Sergei Yesenin, one of Russia’s most beloved poets. It vividly captures the extraordinary life of a man navigating love, loss and loneliness in the midst of the Russian Revolution. Sergei Yesenin is a young poet, formed by childhood abandonment, set on becoming the most famous poet in Russia in a time of war, revolution and terror.
A sensitive soul in a senseless time, searching for meaning through poetry, fame and passionate affairs with both women and men – until a meeting with the beautiful actress Zinaida Raikh changes everything. ‘If thou art near, I’ll leave all behind, Renounce the world, the call of fame. All I need is to kiss your hand, your lips, And hear you call me by my name.’ His success will bring him to the Tsar’s family, to Rasputin, Trotsky and to the world’s most famous dancer, Isadora Duncan.
He befriends other prominent poets and is revered by millions. Schoolchildren learn his verses by heart. Red Army soldiers carry them going into battle.
Yuri Gagarin would later take them into space. But Yesenin’s obsession with fame is dangerous and destructive, for him, and for those who love him. An Unquiet Heart is a magnificent insight into history, and into the life of a tender, troubled man.
This is a story about the power of poetry in turbulent times, about triumph and tragedy and about how true love never fades.