Book summary: This book does not claim to be a representative collection, with delegates from each of the numerous republics that make up the Soviet Union. It is merely a friendly meeting of a group of writers, each of whom introduces his own subject.
Mikhail Sholokhov, a Russian author of world fame, tells about the fate of a man, while Yon Drutsa, a young Moldavian writer, gives a gently humorous portrayal of his industrious and buoyant countrymen.
The Lithuanian Petras Cvirka and the Estonian Eduard Vilde, the Uzbek Abdullah Kahhar and the Abkhazian Mikhail Lakerbai offer glimpses of the recent past of their republics, while the Armenians Derenik Demirjyan and Aksel Bakounts consider life from the philosophical angle.
Yury Rytkheu, a young Chukchi from the Far North, writes in the straightforward, ingenuous manner typical of his people, while Andrejs Upits, veteran Lettish author, whose eightieth birthday was celebrated not so long ago, resorts to the grotesque.
Love and duty, war and peace, the clash between new and old psychology, and the local color of the various republics, are dealt with in one way or another.
As a whole the collection gives a fair idea of some aspects of life in pre-revolutionary Russian and the Soviet Union.