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Looking to the Soviet past to understand Remembrance Day

November 12, 2017 / Comments Off on Looking to the Soviet past to understand Remembrance Day
My grandfather and his siblings as a Red Army soldier at the outset of WWII, in approximately 1941.

I properly met my maternal grandparents for the first time shortly before my 10th birthday. Until then, they had been photographs and letters I couldn’t read and Russian storybooks that arrived periodically in the mail. They were the sound of my parents shouting down the telephone line, because in the long ago 1980s people sounded…

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Growing up Refusenik: A Q&A with Maxim Shrayer on his new memoir

December 12, 2013 / Comments Off on Growing up Refusenik: A Q&A with Maxim Shrayer on his new memoir
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Maxim Shrayer memoir - Leaving Russia Interview

[Update – Want to read this in Russian? Click here to read a translation of my Q+A on Booknik.ru] Memoirs about Soviet-Jewish life during the immigration period of the 1970s and 1980s have not yet saturated the memoir genre, so I’m excited to tell you about a new book that’s just come out this month. Leaving…

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An interview with Swimming in the Daylight author Lisa Paul

July 17, 2012 / Comments Off on An interview with Swimming in the Daylight author Lisa Paul
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Cover of Swimming in the Daylight by Lisa Paul

I am really excited about today’s post – an interview with Lisa Paul, whose memoir, Swimming in the Daylight, is about her time in Moscow and friendship with Soviet refusenik and dissident Inna Meiman. In 1985, after returning from her trip, Lisa went on a hunger strike to bring attention to her friend’s plight and…

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The loneliness of crossing oceans

March 2, 2012 / 1 Comment
Umbrellas on the Spanish Steps

I’ve been writing about a trip I took to Rome with my parents a few years ago. We tried to find the apartment we’d lived in while we were waiting for our Canadian paperwork, but then didn’t. We did eat a lot of gelato and drink a lot of wine. But one of the things…

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Monday Links – Socialist Cuba beats out Park Slope Food Coop edition

February 21, 2011 / Comments Off on Monday Links – Socialist Cuba beats out Park Slope Food Coop edition
Park Slope Food Coop sign

This week’s link round-up… Ill Doctrine Someone who tells it like it is without angry ranting—a much under-appreciated skill. I’m also including a few of his YouTube videos I particularly liked: How To Tell People They Sound Racist, Why I’m Happy, Why I’m Not Satisfied, A Case of Morals, No Accounting for Taste, The Wall-E…

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