Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 24

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 1 Chapter 24
Photo by Tengyart / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 1, Chapter 24, is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here.

Do you hate the DMV? Well, today Grossman gives us a detailed account of something even more frustrating than trying to update your driver’s license: obtaining a residency permit during wartime in Kuibyshev.

One of the amazing things that Grossman depicts in Life and Fate is how freedom cannot be stifled even under the most oppressive conditions. In this particular chapter, we get to witness the city as a microcosm of the entire Soviet state. People who would ordinarily have been locked behind bureaucratic blockades are suddenly thrust into contact with people from all different cross sections of Soviet life.