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Russian Winter

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Russian Winter Cover

ISBN13: 9780061962165
ISBN10: 0061962163
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A mysterious jewel holds the key to a life-changing secret, in this breathtaking tale of love and art, betrayal and redemption.

When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago.

It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theater; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions — Gersh, a brilliant composer, and the exquisite Vera, Nina's closest friend--became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia that a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal — and an ingenious escape that led Nina to the West and eventually to Boston.

Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian who believes that a unique set of jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together these unlikely partners begin to unravel a mystery surrounding a love letter, a poem, and a necklace of unknown provenance, setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.

Interweaving past and present, Moscow and New England, the backstage tumult of the dance world and the transformative power of art, Daphne Kalotay's luminous first novel — a literary page-turner of the highest order — captures the uncertainty and terror of individuals powerless to withstand the forces of history, while affirming that even in times of great strife, the human spirit reaches for beauty and grace, forgiveness and transcendence.

Review:

"Kalotay makes a powerful debut with a novel about a Soviet-era prima ballerina, now retired and living in Boston, who confronts her past as she puts up for auction the jewelry she took with her when she left her husband and defected. Nina 'The Butterfly' Revskaya, 79, reveals little about the past to curious auction house representative Drew Brooks as he peruses her cache of exquisite jewelry. Nina likewise rebuffs inquiries from foreign language professor Grigori Solodin, who has translated the works of Nina's poet husband and who offers an additional item for auction: the amber necklace he inherited from the parents he never knew. In extended flashbacks, Nina recalls intimate moments and misunderstandings with her husband, happy and disturbing times with his Jewish composer best friend, and encounters with her own childhood friend. Meanwhile, Drew and Grigori delve into the jewelry's provenance, hoping to learn as much about the jewels as their own pasts. While the Soviet-era romance can lean too much on melodrama, Kalotay turns out a mostly entrancing story thanks to a skillful depiction of artistic life behind the Iron Curtain and intriguing glimpses into auction house operations. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

“A complex story that, in the end, boils down to the simplest of elements: love, fear, disappointment and loss. An auspicious first novel, elegantly written and without a false note.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

“Kalotay has created appealing, well-rounded characters in well-researched settings.... This is a briskly paced, fresh, and engaging first novel dealing with the pain of loss and the power of love.” Booklist

Review:

“Tender, passionate, and moving, Daphne Kalotay’s debut novel about ballet, jewels, love and betrayal is also a delicious form of time travel. I loved it.” Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us

Review:

“Daphne Kalotay captivates in a soaring debut novel. An elegant, compelling puzzle of family, memory and solitude that brings to life modern-day Boston and postwar Russia through a profound love story. Graceful, moving and unexpected.” Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club

Review:

“Kalotay writes about her characters — artists struggling to dream and survive within the constraints of the Stalinist regime — with sensitivity, humor and wisdom. I believed in these characters and cared about their fates.... A captivating and entertaining read.” Oscar Hijuelos, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

Review:

"Russian Winter is a marvel that had me canceling appointments and staying up half the night, as it swept me into a world of intrigue, poetry, and romance. Set against the perfection of ballet, the hardships of life in the Soviet Union after World War II, and the anguish of families lost and found, Russian Winter reminds me of why I love to read fiction." Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light and A Fierce Radiance

Review:

"Daphne Kalotay captivates in a soaring debut novel. An elegant, compelling puzzle of family, memory and solitude that brings to life modern-day Boston and postwar Russia through a profound love story. Graceful, moving and unexpected." Mathew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club

Synopsis:

“Daphne Kalotay captivates in a soaring debut novel. An elegant, compelling puzzle of family, memory and solitude that brings to life modern-day Boston and postwar Russia through a profound love story. Graceful, moving, and unexpected.”
—Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club

 

In Russian Winter, the beautiful debut novel by critically acclaimed writer Daphne Kalotay, a famed ballerinas jewelry auction in Boston reveals long-held secrets of love and family, friendship and rivalry, harkening back to Stalinist Russia. Called “tender, passionate, and moving” by Jenna Blum, the New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us, Russian Winter is a perfect choice for fans of the novels of Debra Dean (The Madonnas of Leningrad), Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), and Ian McEwan (Atonement).

About the Author

DAPHNE KALOTAY, author of the acclaimed Calamity and Other Stories, has a Ph.D. in literature from Boston University, and she has since taught creative writing at Middlebury College, Boston University and Skidmore College. Kalotay has received fellowships from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, Vassar, Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. She lives in the Boston area. Visit her online at <>.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Heidi Menocal, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Heidi Menocal)
Maybe it was the ballet, but this was the favorite book i read this year. i enjoyed the back and forth between present day and the memories of the russian ballerina. the book was obviously well researched as i did not see any flaws one the author wrote about ballet.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
rexcatz, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by rexcatz)
Going back and forth between the present and Stalin's Russia, this is a story about the ballet, love, relationships, and jewelry with some good mystery thrown in. I thought it was an excellent story and a very enjoyable read. I'm a chain reader and I'm always reading a book. I finish one and pick up another one immediately, so if a book really sticks with me like this one has done, it's a very good book in my opinion.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Beth F, September 9, 2010 (view all comments by Beth F)
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay is a beautifully written novel about the Soviet Union after the war, the Bolshoi Ballet, defection to the West, a jewelry collection, a foreign language professor, an auction house employee, and the mysterious connections among all.

At the center of the book is Nina Revskaya, whose eighty-something body has given in to the years of abuse suffered by a prima ballerina. Nina, accepted by the Bolshoi when she was just a little girl, lived a sheltered life, even for postwar Moscow. Her innocence--both physically and politically--comes to end when she meets and marries the famous poet Viktor Elsin. The how and why Nina ends up in Boston are tantalizingly revealed in a series of flashbacks.

In the present day, Nina arranges to sell her valuable jewelry collection, donating the proceeds to the Boston Ballet Foundation. All Nina wants is to makes sure her beloved ballet is well taken care of; she has no intention of stirring up the past and revealing the true story behind her defection, her jewels, and her life before America.

Kalotay carefully and subtly draws us into the varied aspects of Nina's world. We sense the quick change from laughter to fear after a small gathering in a Moscow apartment discovers a government wire tap in the ceiling. We can easily imagine the sights and smells in the backstage dressing room and understand the odd mix of friendship and competition between the dancers as they prepare for a performance. We reach out to Nina, alone in her living room, wheelchair pulled up to the window, as she looks out over a snow-covered Boston and thinks of the winter beauty of her native Russia.

Kalotay's prose should be savored, allowing the complex story to slowly unfold. Russian Winter will appeal to fans of historical fiction with a bit of mystery and to anyone interested in Russia, the ballet, and jewelry. In many ways, I feel as if this novel had been written just for me.
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(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061962165
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Kalotay, Daphne
Publisher:
Harper
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Moscow (Russia)
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
How Prosperity Evolv
Publication Date:
20100907
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9 x 6.125 x 1.45 in 22.8 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Russian Winter Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Harper - English 9780061962165 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Kalotay makes a powerful debut with a novel about a Soviet-era prima ballerina, now retired and living in Boston, who confronts her past as she puts up for auction the jewelry she took with her when she left her husband and defected. Nina 'The Butterfly' Revskaya, 79, reveals little about the past to curious auction house representative Drew Brooks as he peruses her cache of exquisite jewelry. Nina likewise rebuffs inquiries from foreign language professor Grigori Solodin, who has translated the works of Nina's poet husband and who offers an additional item for auction: the amber necklace he inherited from the parents he never knew. In extended flashbacks, Nina recalls intimate moments and misunderstandings with her husband, happy and disturbing times with his Jewish composer best friend, and encounters with her own childhood friend. Meanwhile, Drew and Grigori delve into the jewelry's provenance, hoping to learn as much about the jewels as their own pasts. While the Soviet-era romance can lean too much on melodrama, Kalotay turns out a mostly entrancing story thanks to a skillful depiction of artistic life behind the Iron Curtain and intriguing glimpses into auction house operations. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , “A complex story that, in the end, boils down to the simplest of elements: love, fear, disappointment and loss. An auspicious first novel, elegantly written and without a false note.” (starred review)
"Review" by , “Kalotay has created appealing, well-rounded characters in well-researched settings.... This is a briskly paced, fresh, and engaging first novel dealing with the pain of loss and the power of love.”
"Review" by , “Tender, passionate, and moving, Daphne Kalotay’s debut novel about ballet, jewels, love and betrayal is also a delicious form of time travel. I loved it.”
"Review" by , “Daphne Kalotay captivates in a soaring debut novel. An elegant, compelling puzzle of family, memory and solitude that brings to life modern-day Boston and postwar Russia through a profound love story. Graceful, moving and unexpected.”
"Review" by , “Kalotay writes about her characters — artists struggling to dream and survive within the constraints of the Stalinist regime — with sensitivity, humor and wisdom. I believed in these characters and cared about their fates.... A captivating and entertaining read.”
"Review" by , "Russian Winter is a marvel that had me canceling appointments and staying up half the night, as it swept me into a world of intrigue, poetry, and romance. Set against the perfection of ballet, the hardships of life in the Soviet Union after World War II, and the anguish of families lost and found, Russian Winter reminds me of why I love to read fiction."
"Review" by , "Daphne Kalotay captivates in a soaring debut novel. An elegant, compelling puzzle of family, memory and solitude that brings to life modern-day Boston and postwar Russia through a profound love story. Graceful, moving and unexpected."
"Synopsis" by ,

“Daphne Kalotay captivates in a soaring debut novel. An elegant, compelling puzzle of family, memory and solitude that brings to life modern-day Boston and postwar Russia through a profound love story. Graceful, moving, and unexpected.”
&#8212;Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club

 

In Russian Winter, the beautiful debut novel by critically acclaimed writer Daphne Kalotay, a famed ballerinas jewelry auction in Boston reveals long-held secrets of love and family, friendship and rivalry, harkening back to Stalinist Russia. Called “tender, passionate, and moving” by Jenna Blum, the New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us, Russian Winter is a perfect choice for fans of the novels of Debra Dean (The Madonnas of Leningrad), Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), and Ian McEwan (Atonement).

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