I had to make supper the night I was reading the last few chapters
of THE SIEGE. I found myself using large quantities of everything
--- rice, butter, pecans, apples, and onions --- perhaps to
reassure myself that we had plenty. But I also felt ashamed that we
had so much, for this is, essentially, a novel of starvation.
It is the winter of 1941. St. Petersburg has been surrounded by the
Nazis, all its supply routes cut off. The city wastes away,
excruciatingly. Helen Dunmore writes of its figh