Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Tickets are available for Graywolf Literary Gala in Minneapolis on September 19. For more details about the event or to make a gift in honor of our 50th anniversary, click here

Book Title

Red Plenty

Author 1
Francis Spufford
Strange as it may seem, the gray, oppressive USSR was founded on a fairy tale. It was built on the twentieth-century magic called “the planned economy,” which was going to gush forth an abundance of good things that the lands of capitalism could never match. And just for a little while, in the heady years of the late 1950s, the magic seemed to be working. Red Plenty is about that moment in history, and how it came, and how it went away; about the brief era when, under the rash leadership of Khrushchev, the Soviet Union looked forward to a future of rich communists and envious capitalists, when Moscow would out-glitter Manhattan and every Lada would be better engineered than a Porsche. It’s about the scientists who did their genuinely brilliant best to make the dream come true, to give the tyranny its happy ending.

Red Plenty is history, it’s fiction, it’s as ambitious as Sputnik, as uncompromising as an Aeroflot flight attendant, and as different from what you were expecting as a glass of Soviet champagne.

Share Title

List Price
Publication Date
Publication Date
Trim Size
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
“Spufford cunningly maps out a literary genre of his own . . . Freewheeling and fabulous.”—The Times (London)

About the Author

Francis  Spufford
Credit: Bart Koetsier
Francis Spufford is the author of Red Plenty, The Child That Books Built, and two other books. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge.
More by author


  • “Spufford can make vivid the privations of the Soviet era in a single phrase, as when he notes that a clerk’s glazed eye is ‘like a herring on ice.’”—The New Yorker
  • "An engrossing, and at times deeply moving historical drama."—The Daily Beast
  • Red Plenty revels in acute psychological insights and sympathetic portrayals of a complex reality.”The Dallas Morning News
  • “What could have been a dry economics lesson is entertaining and intriguing, buoyed by Spufford’s unusual, fully realized characters and settings.”Shelf Awareness
Back to Table of Contents