Alliluyeva, Svetlana

Alliluyeva, Svetlana svyĕtläˈnä äl-lĕlo͞oˈyəvə [key], 1926–2011, only daughter of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, who committed suicide when Svetlana was six. Originally Svetlana Stalina, she took her mother's surname after Stalin died (1953), and was a teacher and translator. In 1966, while returning her third husband's ashes to his native India, she defected to the West; she left a grown son and daughter from earlier marriages behind in the USSR. She settled (1967) in the United States, and published Twenty Letters to a Friend (1967, a memoir) and Only One Year (1969). In 1970 she married an American architect, William W. Peters, and afterwards was known as Lana Peters; they had a daughter but divorced in 1973. By then a U.S. citizen, she returned to the Soviet Union in 1984 and renounced her defection, but she left again in 1986 and subsequently lived in the United States and Europe.

See biography by R. Sullivan (2015).

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