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The racism theme is so important, especially at this time, but Marie is never heavy-handed with it. I find the Second Act when we meet Gloria and Madeleine a tug at the heart strings, without becoming either sentimental or melodramatic. The scenes are vivid. The characters beautifully drawn. The context rich with detail.

I would love to see this movie made. Linda Seger, Script Consultant and Author. Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility Help.

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Email or Phone Password Forgot account? Log In. Forgot account? By madeleine. The descriptions of Jamaica, and the historical information, created a vivid background to a moving story of a young woman's courage. Well done Marie-Therese Browne. From Maisie Richardson East Midlands. By Frederic.

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Olga: A Daughter's Tale

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I am acutely aware of the fact that, no matter how comfortable I am with English, I will never hear it with the inner hearing of a native speaker; and I can't help wondering what my writing would be like today had I continued working in the language of my childhood and youth rather than starting from scratch at the age of twenty. I do not, however, feel that my decision to switch to English has come at the expense of my "Russian half. I live with a sense of belonging to two cultures, of existing simultaneously in two vastly different and fascinating worlds, both of which inform my style in equal measure; and in my work I hope to arrive at an original blend of the two.

And Russian has remained my private language, reserved for letters to my family and for my diary, which I have kept on and off since coming to America.

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LG: Are there plans to release the novel in Russia and would you translate it? What kind of reception do you think it would get there? OG: The book is being translated into eight languages a prospect that never fails to astonish me , but there are as yet no plans for a Russian translation. My publisher is working on it, and I hope it will happen eventually.

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  • We Russians tend to bristle when outsiders pretend to a deep understanding of our culture, and I'm afraid there might be a tendency to regard me as a foreigner, a young American writer passing judgment on fifty years of Soviet history. I hope that Russian readers could look at my novel as a work very much within the Russian literary tradition, and perhaps find it interesting as such. LG: You came to the United States in , and before that spent a portion of your childhood in Prague. How long did you actually live in the Soviet Union?

    Have you been back to Russia since the fall of the Communist state?

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    His daughter is independent and rebellious, but more of a groupie than an artist. What are your impressions of Russia now? OG: I lived in the Soviet Union from , the year of my birth, until when my father found himself at odds with the regime and we had to move to Prague for five years , and again from to —thirteen years all told. Since leaving for America, however, I have gone back virtually every year, for stays ranging from two weeks to three months; I am a citizen of both countries, and, with the exception of my American husband and our two-year-old son, my family still lives in Russia.

    I have never stopped thinking of Russia as my home; over the years I have simply started to think of America as another home. There is, I fear, little hope for the likes of Vasily, but I do feel hopeful for Ksenya. LG: In a blurb on the cover of your book, James Lasdun puts you in the tradition of Gogol and Bulgakov and Nabokov, another excellent Russian writer writing in English. Do you consider yourself in the absurdist line of these two writers? My own impression is that your novel is one of great realism—so much realism, in fact, that it overwhelms Sukhanov and he can only face it a little at a time.

    OG: The fantastic and the realist traditions are both powerful in Russian literature, and I have drawn on both.

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    Bulgakov and especially Gogol are among my favorite writers, and an element of the absurd—the nightmarish or fairy-tale underside of daily life—has always been present in my writing: I like to find the unusual, the disturbing, the magical amidst the ordinary. There is, of course, a heavy dose of realism in my depiction of Sukhanov's life—his poverty-ridden, communal childhood, his dark memories of the Stalinist purges and the war years, the drab colors and nauseating smells of his precarious existence as an underground painter.

    But Sukhanov's artistic nature is whimsical, fantastic, bright; and gradually, as this long-repressed side takes over his public persona, dreams and nightmares flood his solid, material existence, and a strong current of the surreal, of the unreal, of the mad, is injected into the novel. A few years ago I embarked on a long-term project: to study, in roughly chronological order, the literature of the ancient world. I felt fairly confident that echoes of The Book of the Dead would not find their way into my descriptions of Moscow in the s, and spending a year or two with nothing but two-thousand-year-old masterpieces on my nightstand kept things nicely in perspective.

    And who should pay? The political and personal are certainly interwoven throughout the novel, with political constraints dictating personal decisions. Do you feel the two strands can be separated, or that one overshadows the other?