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Life of Soviet Dissident Bonner Soon to Be Open Book

--Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner’s memoirs about the chilling isolation of internal exile in the Soviet Union and the trauma of watching her husband’s hunger strikes will be on bookshelves this fall, the publishing house of Alfred A. Knopf announced in New York. “This might be her last words said in freedom,” said Bonner’s daughter, Tatiana Yankelevich, 36, of Newton, Mass. “She herself is not very optimistic about leaving Gorky again.” The book will be published simultaneously in late October in seven other countries, the Manhattan publishing company said. The book by Bonner, 63, who lives in exile in the Soviet city of Gorky with her husband, Nobel laureate physicist Andrei D. Sakharov, also details her impressions during a recent six-month trip to the United States, where she underwent a sextuple heart bypass and was also treated for leg and eye ailments. She returned to the Soviet Union this month.

--Dan O’Hara, paralyzed from the waist down, began paddling his specially built boat on a 1,400-mile journey down the Mississippi River from St. Louis to New Orleans to show that disabled people are not helpless. The 51-year-old native of Oakland, Calif., said: “If people see this old man and dog going down the Mississippi River, they will take notice.” O’Hara, who became paralyzed from the waist down as the result of a mugging, and his Labrador, Charlie, are paddling downriver on a custom-built boat propelled by O’Hara’s burly arms turning the wheels on his chair. The wheels are connected by a chain to the paddle. The boat, named Fundraiser, is equipped with a CB radio so O’Hara, who goes by the handle of Wheelchair Man, can keep in contact with the world. O’Hara’s mission in making the trip is to build a $10-million sports facility for the disabled in Walnut Creek, Calif., and he plans to stop at strategic spots along his trek to push for contributions.

--Princess Diana’s brother says the heavy drinking at Oxford University is just a way to “let off steam” and that he knows of only “three or four” people there who take drugs. Charles Viscount Althorp was an acquaintance of the 22-year-old heiress, Olivia Channon, daughter of a British Cabinet minister who died last week in an Oxford dormitory after being supplied with heroin, opening up a scandal at the school. But Althorp says it is a media distortion.


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