Radio 4 lines up Grossman adaptation

Radio 4 lines up Grossman adaptation

BBC Radio 4 is to broadcast an eight-hour dramatisation of Russian author Vasily Grossman’s epic novel Life and Fate from 18th-24th September.

Kenneth Branagh is to star in the adaptation, which will take over every drama slot on the station apart from "The Archers” during the week.

Documentary "The Life and Fate of Vasily Grossman” and readings from Grossman’s front-line journalism will also be broadcast on the station. A special edition of "Start the Week” on 12th September will focus on Grossman, while a series of free events will also be held at St Peters College, Oxford University on 9th September.

Gwyneth Williams, BBC Radio 4 controller, said: "Hot on the heels of Martin Sixsmith's excellent 50-part series on Russia, I'm thrilled that Radio 4's dramatisation of Life And Fate will bring this remarkable but little known work to a wider audience.

"The novel's underlying message—the ability of the human spirit to endure in the face of authoritarian rule and war—is as relevant today as it was 70 years ago."

Grossman completed the novel, set during the Battle of Stalingrad, in 1960. Its  comparison of Stalinism to Nazism was considered so dangerous by Soviet authorities that the manuscript was placed under arrest by the KGB.

Grossman’s novel was recently picked as one of Vintage Classics’ Orange Inheritance series.