Bunin/Berberova: In Paris/The Waiter And The Slut
Driven to exile following the revolution, former Russian aristocrats now find themselves isolated as new immigrants in Paris. Their new lives are spent battling sickness, searching for afforable apartments and waiting in pawn shops, Ivan Bunin's In Paris tells the brief and bittersweet encounter of an ex-general of the old imperial army and Olga Alexandrovna, a young woman now working as a waitress in a Russian restaurant. Upon a chance meeting, they momentarily find a sense of home in each other’s arms. In Nina Berberova's raw and searing The Waiter And The Slut, Tania, the daughter of a St. Petersburg big-shot, now finds herself in Paris, where her husband dies in a mental hospital and she is reduced to surviving on meals paid for by male admirers. As she turns older, her admirers grow more grotesque, and she soon finds herself trapped in a devastating affair with a waiter—a man she soon grows to hate.