“Sigrid Rausing’s memoir is a charming, unsettling, and unusually intimate glimpse into the life of an Estonian village in transition.” Anne Applebaum
Everything Is Wonderful
Memories of a Collective Farm in Estonia
978-0-8021-2296-4 • $16.00 • Paperback • Mar. 2016
Just like it was taken for granted that houses could be abandoned and slowly decay, so it was taken for granted that people died in prisons, and that it was possible that no-one would really ever know the cause of death. This is the nature of totalitarianism.
In 1993-4 Sigrid Rausing completed her anthropological PhD fieldwork on the peninsula of Noarootsi, a former Soviet ‘border protection zone’ in western Estonia. Abandoned watch towers dotted the coast line, and the huge fields of the Lenin collective farm were lying fallow, waiting for claims from former owners, who had fled war, and Nazi and Soviet occupation. In Everything Is Wonderful, a book that blends history, memoir, and travel writing, Rausing tells the story of how she lived and worked amongst the villagers, witnessing their transition from Soviet neglect to post-Soviet austerity, and democracy.