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Tolstoy and America
March 25, 2008

Vladimir Tolstoy (seated) signs books by his great-great-grandfather Leo Tolstoy at the Muncie (IN) Public Library
WASHINGTON, DC – Leo Tolstoy’s great-great-grandson Vladimir Tolstoy, who heads the Tolstoy Estate Museum outside Moscow, and Galina Alexeeva, the museum’s research director, presented on “Tolstoy and America” at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) March 25. The event was a part of the NEA’s 2008 Big Read initiative, for which Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a featured book. NEA Chairman Dana Gioia attended the presentation, as did representatives from Open World, which sponsored the Russians’ visit in partnership with the NEA. Vladimir Tolstoy and Alexeeva next traveled to Muncie, IN, and Champaign-Urbana, IL, to take part as special guests in Big Read events in both communities. The many people who attended their talks and readings also learned about the significance of Leo Tolstoy’s country estate, Yasnaya Polyana (now the Tolstoy Estate Museum), to the great writer himself and to the many visitors it attracts from all over the world. (Local Host Organizations: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois, Muncie Public Library; National Grantee: CEC ArtsLink)

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