PEN has been following the case since the news first broke, and, in December of last year, held a tribute to Politkovskaya called "The Writer's Conscience." There, Katrina Vanden Heuvel read a piece titled "Conversations in the Kitchen" from a collection of Politkovskaya's writing translated by Alexander Burry and Tatiana Tulchinsky and called A Small Corner of Hell. In "Conversations," Politkovskaya talks with a group of women in
Here is the end of that piece:
The women at the table do not cry, although they would like to. You rarely hear crying inListen to the rest here, and read more of Politkovskaya's writing here.
. They've all cried their eyes out long ago. Whether or not a woman cries indicates how long it's been since she returned to Grozny from the refugee camps. Grozny
Outside, it is dark and quiet. Even the dogs haven't been barking for a long time.
Somewhere far off, there is a glow from sporadic, noiseless bombing. It resembles thunderstorm lightning a bit. After midnight, the armored vehicles start screeching again. Everyone bends down and hunches over, making herself smaller. Is it coming for you?
In five minutes, there's a feeling of relief. It's not for you. The armored vehicle rumbles past.
"This is what we've come to: we're glad it's for someone else,"
It's five hours until the next blockade dawn, and we need to survive them. This is a very intimate affair. You survive as you are born, alone. You need to part company, so you can lie down, close your eyes and remain one on one with a world that does not want you.