Recently, my coming-of-age creative nonfiction piece, “Believing in Lenin,” appeared in an Oakland-based literary journal Generations.” Generations, a Journal of Ideas and Images, publishes original work by emerging and established authors to encourage conversations across the generational gaps. Since they are currently in print only, I decided to post the text here.
In Soviet Union, children were more than just children. They were October’s Kids, in honor of the revolution that stamped out Russian monarchy in 1917, and it was a pretty big deal. Decorated with star-shaped pins with Lenin’s picture as a boy, they sang spirituals like “Lenin is within you and within me” in music class, alongside the tunes about the female deer and the rays of golden sun. And if they were good, they’d be taken on a pilgrimage trip to Moscow, to see Lenin’s body in a glass case.