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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tales of Life And Legends

Lovers of the arts will find much of interest in two autobiographies -- one by a legendary ballerina, the other by an opera diva.


In "I, Maya Plisetskaya," the great ballerina, perhaps best remembered for her performances in "Swan Lake," "Carmen" and "Don Quixote," tells all -- discussing everything from backstage backstabbing to onstage flubs to visits with Robert Kennedy when the Bolshoi toured America.


Now available in Russian, the book should be on the shelves next year in English, French and Spanish translations, through an agreement between Novosti in Moscow and Western publishers.


The Russian version can be bought in kiosks, bookstores or from street vendors at prices ranging from 13,000 to 25,000 rubles


The second Russian edition of opera star Galina Vishnevskaya's book about herself, called "Galina: A Life Story" and published for the first time in Moscow by Novosti, makes for fascinating reading. The new edition can be bought at bookstores for about 7,000 rubles.


Vishnevskaya, the wife of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, chronicles her life on and offstage in Russia and later in emigration.


The publishing history of Vishnevskaya's memoir is the exact opposite of Plisetskaya's. The famous diva's autobiography, written primarily for a Russian audience, was first published abroad, as Soviet authorities did not consider it possible to release such an anti-Soviet work.


Plisetskaya waited until it was possible to publish her book at home and wrote it for both a Russian and a Western audience.