John Tesarsch - Dinner with the Dissidents

Sunday 17 February 2019
The Warehouse, 36 Fraser Street, Clunes, VIC 3370

Author John Tesarsch

Chair Andrew Masterson

Dinner with the Dissidents is set in 1970s Moscow and contemporary Canberra, and draws startling parallels between political machinations in the old Soviet Union and the West today. Local booklovers may enjoy the book not only for its compelling narrative, but also for the familiar scenes of Canberra and Lake Burley Griffin.

John has long been fascinated with this era of the Soviet Union, specifically the clash of politics and the arts. More than twenty years ago he learnt about the real-life secluded dacha (country house) of Mstislav Rostropovich, the legendary cellist, where Solzhenitsyn and other notable dissidents gathered – including composer Dmitri Shostakovich – after they had effectively been shunned by the state.

The themes of this novel are personal for John. The music and legacy of Rostropovich and Shostakovich thrum between the lines of this novel in a nod to John’s former career in music. His lifelong interest in classical literature introduced John to Solzhenitsyn and his experience as a barrister, sparked his desire to consider the political and legal implications of challenging the state.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at this event.