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Nadezhda Yakovlevna Mandelstam (Russian: Надежда Яковлевна
Мандельштам, née Hazin; 31 October 1899 — 29 December 1980) was
a Russian writer and a wife of poet Osip Mandelstam.
Born in Saratov into a middle-class Jewish family, she spent
her early years in Kiev. After the gymnasium she studied art.
After their marriage in 1921, Nadezhda and Osip Mandelstam
lived in Ukraine, Petrograd, Moscow, and Georgia. Osip was
arrested in 1934 for his Stalin Epigram and exiled with Nadezhda
to Cherdyn, in the Perm region and later to Voronezh.
After Osip Mandelstam's second arrest and his subsequent
death at a transit camp "Vtoraya Rechka" near Vladivostok in
1938, Nadezhda Mandelstam led an almost nomadic way of life,
dodging her expected arrest and frequently changing places of
residence and temporary jobs. On at least one occasion, in
Kalinin, the NKVD came for her the next day after she fled.
As her mission in life, she set to preserve and publish her
husband's poetic heritage. She managed to keep most of it
memorized because she didn't trust paper.
After the death of Stalin, Nadezhda Mandelstam completed her
dissertation (1956) and was allowed to return to Moscow (1958).
In her memoirs, Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned, first
published in the West, she gives an epic analysis of her life
and criticizes the moral and cultural degradation of the Soviet
Union of the 1920s and later. The titles of her memoirs are
puns, Nadezhda in Russian meaning 'hope'.
In 1979 she gave her archives to Princeton University.
Nadezhda Mandelstam died in 1980 in Moscow, aged 81.