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Nadia Shulman

Nadia Shulman

Boca Raton, Florida

Nadia Shulman grew up in the USSR facing state-sponsored anti-Semitism. She is a retired physician, who visited over 100 countries. DOUBLE EXPOSURE is about her family’s tragedies and triumphs.

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About the author

Nadia Shulman grew up in war-torn Soviet Union facing all the hardships of the state-sponsored anti-Semitism.   Her first husband died when she was four- month- pregnant with their first child.  She graduated from Kiev Medical School, published her thesis and a few professional articles, and remarried.   Risking everything she and her husband decided to emigrate and applied for the exit  visas. They arrived to United States with their two sons, two suitcases and ninety dollars and lived through many frustrating misadventures, hilarious mistakes and heartbreaking times but they were free! After passing qualifying exams and another three years of residency, Doctor Shulman practiced internal medicine and taught residents at Harvard and Tufts Medical schools. She is an avid traveler who visited over 100 countries. She frequently shares her travels on the local TV travel show. She has also served on the Board of the Russian Jewish Community Foundation and on numerous committees of the Massachusetts Medical Society.“Double exposure” is her first biographical book about family’s tragedies and triumphs.

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Success! DOUBLE EXPOSURE sold 120 pre-orders by April 5, 2018, was pitched to 67 publishers, and will be published by Lulu.

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Get a print copy of Double Exposure at a great price and support my efforts to get noticed by publishers! Includes the Ebook version as well!

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Get a print copy of Double Exposure and a unique Double Exposure oversized coffee mug to sip your drink from while you read. Also includes the Ebook version.

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$50 Autographed Copy of Double Exposure

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Includes an autographed copy of Double Exposure personally signed by the author, the Ebook, and a unique Double Exposure oversized coffee mug!

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$100 Personal Mention in Book Dedication

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Your name will be called out for thanks in the dedication, for all to see, and you'll get 2 autographed copies of Double Exposure so you can share with a friend. Also includes Ebook and unique Double Exposure oversized coffee mug.

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In addition to 5 autographed copies of Double Exposure, and being thanked on the dedication page, you will receive 2 invitations to the Double Exposure launch party, and have a chance to meet and greet with the author in person. Also includes Ebook and unique Double Exposure oversized coffee mug.

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$500 Live Online Q&A with Author

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Get a live video online 45 minute Q&A with the author for you or your organization. In addition, you'll get 10 autographed copies of Double Exposure, be thanked near the top of the dedication page, and you will receive 4 invitations to the Double Exposure launch party. Also includes Ebook and unique Double Exposure oversized coffee mug.

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$1000 Live in-person presentation and Q&A with Author

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Get a live in-person 60 minute presentation and Q&A with the author for you or your organization. In addition, you'll get 25 autographed copies of Double Exposure, be thanked first on the dedication page, and you will receive 10 invitations to the Double Exposure launch party. Also includes Ebook and unique Double Exposure oversized coffee mug.

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From Russia, Cross-Country Through Time

A drive cross-country to celebrate 50 years of marriage invokes memories of family life and death in the Soviet Union - two lives, two countries, family secrets, tragedy, and war.

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Memoirs Travel
120,000 words
100% complete
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Russian refugees, Victoria and Felix, celebrate their golden wedding anniversary by driving cross-country for fifty days. They built a happy and successful life in the United States, however, their past life in the Soviet Union was always casting a shadow, like double exposure in an old film. Inside each amazing travel day is hidden a story of Victoria’s family: her grandparents’ life in Ukraine after the Revolution, her  great–grandfather’s execution during the Civil War, and her grandfather’s death in Babi Yar.  Her parents, both physicians, fought in WWII. Victoria grew up in Kiev facing all the hardships of life in the Soviet Union. Victoria’s first husband died when she was pregnant with their first son. Mortally wounded by the tragedy, Victoria tried to rebuild her life. She married Felix and they had another son. Both, Felix and Victoria hated life in the Soviet Union. Facing problems in their marriage, they nevertheless decided to keep their family together and emigrate. They risked everything after they applied for exit visas and Felix was arrested at the border.  When they arrived in America, sponsored by a Jewish community, they faced a new language and new traditions. They lived through many frustrating misadventures, hilarious mistakes and heartbreaking times but they were finally free! Ride cross-country and through history to get a rare and personal glimpse into the life of a woman, a family and the country.


Day 1: Framingham, MA – Hubbard, OH // Dmitry: Kiev, Ukraine 1960s
Day 2: Indianapolis, IN, Omni Severin Hotel // Babushka, Gorbashovka, Ukraine 1920s
Day 3: Indianapolis, IN - St. Louis, MS, Hamptons Inn // Babushka, Uzbekistan 1940s; Babushka, Kiev, Ukraine 1940; Babushka, Kiev, Ukraine 1960
Day 4: St. Louis, MS - Kansas City, KS, Hilton President // Lenya Junior: Kharkov, Ukraine 1950s
Day 5: Kansas City, KS, Hilton President // The Family: Moscow, Russia 1960
Day 6: Labor Day: Kansas City, KS, Hilton President // Volodya, Kiev, Ukraine 1970s
Day 7: Kansas City, KS - Kearney, NE, Best Western // Volodya: Kiev, Ukraine 1970s
Day 8: Custer State Park, SD, State Game Lodge // Childhood: Kiev, Ukraine 1940s
Day 9: Custer State Park, SD, State Game Lodge // The Girlfriends: Kiev, Ukraine 1940s
Day 10: Cody, WY, Chamberlain Inn, Hemingway suite // Boris Babich: Kiev, Ukraine 1950s
Day 11: Yellowstone National Park, Lake Yellowstone Hotel // The Golden Anniversary: Kiev, Ukraine 1960s
Day 12: Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful Inn // Sarra: Kiev, Ukraine, 1940s; Efim: Kiev, Ukraine 1940s
Day 13: Jackson Hall, WY, Spring Creek Ranch // Sarra: Kuybyshev, Russia 1940s; Sarra, Kiev, Ukraine 1940s
Day 14: Jackson Hole, WY, Spring Creek Ranch // Aunt Rose: Kiev, Ukraine, 1950s
Day 15: Jackson Hole, WY, Spring Creek Ranch // The Last Train from Russia: Kiev, Ukraine 1970s
Day 16: Jackson Hole, WY, Spring Creek Ranch // Emigration: Vienna, Austria 1970s
Day 17: Park City, UT, Montage, Vista View Suite // Emigration: Rome, Italy 1970s
Day 18: Elko, NV, Hilton Garden Inn // Emigration: Rome, Italy 1970s
Day 19: Reno, NV, Peppermill Resort and Casino // Emigration: Ladispoli, Italy 1970s
Day 20: Yosemite National Park, CA, Ahwahnee Hotel // Americana: Haverhill, MA, USA 1970s
Day 21: Yosemite National Park, CA, Ahwahnee Hotel // Americana: Haverhill, MA 1970s
Day 22: Carmel, CA, Carmel Valley Ranch // Americana: Haverhill, USA 1970s; Americana: Haverhill, USA 1970s
Day 23: Carmel, CA, Carmel Valley Ranch // Americana: Haverhill, 1970s
Day 24: Carmel, CA, Carmel Valley Ranch // Americana: Haverhill, 1980s; The kids, Kiev, Ukraine 1960s; Americana: Haverhill, 1980s
Day 25: Santa Barbara, CA, Hotel Four Season Biltmore // Zoya: Kiev, Ukraine, 1950s; Zoya: Kiev, Ukraine, 1960s; Zoya: Kiev, Ukraine, 1970s; Emigration, Europe, 1970s ; Zoya California, USA 1980s; Zoya California, USA 1990s; Zoya: Ladispoli, Italy 1970s; Zoya, California, USA 1970s
Day 26: Santa Monica, CA, Casa del Mar // Kids: Kiev, Ukraine 1960s; Kids, Yalta, Crimea 1960s
Day 27: Santa Monica, CA, Casa del Mar // Kids: Haverhill, MA, USA 1980s
Day 28: Santa Monica, CA, Casa del Mar // Kids: Haverhill, MA USA 1980s
Day 29: Santa Monica, CA, Casa del Mar // Kids: Kiev, Ukraine, 1970s; Massachusetts, USA 1980s
Day 30: Santa Monica, CA, Casa del Mar // Kids: Kiev, Ukraine, 1970s
Day 31: Las Vegas, NV, Hotel Vdara // Tales from Moscow: Moscow, Russia, 1950s
Day 32: Las Vegas, NV, Hotel Vdara // Tales from  Moscow: Moscow, Russia 1960s
Day 33: Springdale, UT, Zion National Park, Hampton Inn & Suites // Moscow, Russia, 1970s; Kiev, Ukraine, 1970s
Day 34: Springdale, UT, Zion National Park, Hampton Inn & Suites // Tales from Moscow: Moscow, Russia 1970s
Day 35: Big Water, UT, Lake Powell, Hotel Amangiri // Camaraderie: Kiev, Ukraine, 1940s; Kiev, Ukraine 1950s
Day 36: Big Water, UT, Lake Powell, Hotel Amangiri //The Camaraderie: Kiev, Ukraine 1960s
Day 37: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, Hotel El Tovar // Dad: Gorbashovka, Ukraine 1930s; Dad: Kiev, Ukraine 1940s
Day 38: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, Hotel El Tovar // Dad: Kiev, Ukraine 1940s; Dad: Kiev, Ukraine 1950s
Day 39: Sedona, AZ, Enchantment Resort // Dad: Kiev, Ukraine 1950s
Day 40: Sedona, AZ, Enchantment Resort // Dad: Kiev, Ukraine 1970s
Day 41: Santa Fe, NM, The Inn of the Five Graces // Victoria (Clothes): Kiev, Ukraine 1940s
Day 42: Santa Fe, NM, The Inn of the Five Graces // Victoria: Kiev, Ukraine, 1950s
Day 43: Oklahoma City, OK, Hilton Skirvin // Felix (Romance): Kiev, Ukraine 1950s; Victoria (Romance): Kiev, Ukraine 1960s
Day 44: Hot Springs, AK, Embassy Suites Hotel // Trains: Kiev, Ukraine 1940s; Trains: Kiev, Ukraine 1950s; Trains: Kiev, Ukraine 1950s; Trains: Kiev, Ukraine 1960s; Trains: Spain, Europe 1990
Day 45: Nashville, TN, Renaissance Hotel // Grateful Dead: Maine, USA 1980s
Day 46: Walland, TN, Blackberry Farm // Babushka: Kiev, Ukraine, 1960s
Day 47: Walland, TN, Blackberry Farm // ELLA: Kiev, Ukraine 1950s; ELLA: Kiev, Ukraine 1960s
Day 48: Walland, TN, Blackberry Farm // Victoria: PTSD
Day 49: Keswick, VI, Keswick Hall at Monticello // The Times
Day 50: Framingham, MA // The places, Kiev, Ukraine 1940s; The places, Kiev, Ukraine 1950s; The places, Kiev, Ukraine 1960s, The places, Kiev, Ukraine 1970s; The places, Haverhill, MA USA 1970s; The places, Framingham, MA USA 1970s


  1. Female readers interested in family story, family tragedy, marriage problems , children and working mothers’ dilemmas.(Women's stories - Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,621)
  2. Jewish readers with an interest in the life of Jews around the world - (Top books is Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,812 in Books )
  3. People interested in the history of the Soviet Union,  people, life and the impact of socialism and anti-Semitism on the  life of the ordinary people. (“Soviet Union” - Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,384 in Books)
  4. Russian audience interested in a story of emigration, survival and formation of the new layer of american society. (same as above)
  5. Travelers  and National Parks enthusiasts. (Travel - “Walden on Wheels”, Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341 Paid in Kindle Store)
  6. Female audience (Among books on women empowerement - Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,197 in Books )  interested in multicultural characters


Leverage close to a thousands friends, followers, and professional contacts via social and email campaigns to drive subscriptions to Publishizer updates, blog, and to expand the reach of the pre-order marketing to their social circles via personal grass roots recommendations.

Place highly targeted paid ads on Facebook to seed relevant Jewish communities, immigrant communities, and travel groups with news about the book. Test, refine, and expand.

Email campaign targeting prominent Jewish communities to encourage a discussion about what some immigrants escape when they come to the US, and how Jewish communities have played pivotal roles in helping people establish new lives.

PR campaign offering advanced copies of the book to select bloggers and authors for review, as well as audio and video live interviews with the author.


"Panic in a Suitcase: Emigration and family who stayed behind" Yelena Akhtiorskaya 2014 

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,304, 
#275 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Asian
#286 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Russian
#2146 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Cultural Heritage

“The Cosmopolitans”  by Nadia Kalman 2010 

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,271
#2847 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Cultural Heritage
#2918 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Americas > United States > 20th Century
#5241 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States

Sana Krasikov   “One More Year; The Patriots” 2008

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,895
#1228 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > African American
#1864 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > United States
#2026 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Short Stories

Ellen Litman "The Last Chicken in America; Mannequin Girl"  2014 set in Moscow
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,326,994 in Books
#17254 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories & Anthologies > Short Stories
#37155 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary

Irina Reyn “What Happened to Anna K; The Imperial Wife” 2009
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,455 in Books
#25511 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary
#46552 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Literary

Anya Ulinich  “Petropolis; 2008 Lena Finkel’s Magic Barrel”  2014
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,940 in Books
#298 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Women's Fiction > Mothers & Children
#981 in Books > Literature & Fiction > United States > Humor
#3032 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > Humorous

Lara Vapnyar  “There are Jews in my house; Memoirs of a Muse, Broccoli and other Tales of Food and Love; The scent of Pine,2014 
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,955 in Books
#1542 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Jewish
#10944 in Books > Literature & Fiction > World Literature
#16764 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories & Anthologies > Short Stories

“Fiction by Russian Jewish  female emigres became a brand” said Adrian Wanner (The liberal arts research Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature at Penn State U)

8 publishers interested
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Anaphora Literary Press was started as an academic press with the publication of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal (PLJ) in 2009. In the Winter of 2010, Anaphora began accepting book-length submissions. Anaphora has now published over 240 creative and non-fiction books. Jere Krakoff’s novel, Something is Rotten in Fettig, is a finalist in the 2016 Foreword Indies: Humor (Adult Fiction) competition. John Paul Jaramillo’s collection of short stories, The House of Order, received an honorable mention in Latino Literacy Now’s Mariposa Best First Fiction Book Award. Professors have used Anaphora’s books in their courses. Most Anaphora writers scheduled readings, and several have booked top venues like Barnes and Nobles, AWP, and major libraries. Stories about Anaphora’s books have been featured in national newspapers and on major network broadcasts across the world. PLJ and CCR have published interviews with best-selling and award-winning writers such as Geraldine Brooks and Larry Niven, as well as interviews with the winners of the Sundance and Brooklyn Film festivals. Anaphora has exhibited its titles at SIBA, ALA, SAMLA and many other international conventions. Services include book trailers, press releases, merchandise design, book review (free in pdf/epub) submissions, YouTube book trailers, proofreading, formatting, design, art creation, and dozens of other components included in the basic package. Anaphora has a full CS6 Suite, Movie Studio 14 Suite, Corel Painter 2017 and other advanced software and hardware capabilities. This video describes Anaphora's services: Replies with a decision on submissions within 24 hours. Books can be designed, setup, etc. in a couple of days if the author has a tight deadline, or can be edited for a month and then set on a 6 months pre-release delay for reviews, depending on the author's individual preferences. I create three editions of each title: hardcover, softcover and ebook, which are printed in UK, US and AU, and ship worldwide.

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With headquarters in London, New York, and Sharjah, Austin Macauley Publishers™ has established itself as an energetic and innovative independent trade publisher. Our publications range from historical romances to celebrity autobiographies; from illustrated children’s tales to in-depth technical manuals; from hard-hitting thrillers to meditative poetry. We pride ourselves on our hybrid publishing model, a progressively more popular means by which both new and previously published authors can establish themselves in the increasingly competitive world of books. Expanding on our international success, we will be opening an office in Australia and South Africa in 2018. An office in Vancouver, Canada will follow in 2019.

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We are a full service book publishing company that works closely with independent authors in every phase of writing/editorial, book production, book marketing, and book distribution. Our roster includes bestselling authors who have previously traditionally published, first time authors, and authors at various levels in between.

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Gladiator Publishing Co. has held a reputation in the Literary Industry for nearly 100 Years as a Writer-Loyal company. Nearly 100-years later, Gladiator Publishing Company still maintains that strong characteristic. We place our Authors publications first and foremost. You may hear many other "Publishing entities" state that they are "the first" to do this or the "originator/pioneer" of that. If everyone is using the same marketing, promotional, and advertising pipelines what makes them so original?

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Day 1, Aug 28: Framingham, MA – Hubbard, Oh

My heart jumped so fast it made me lean on the corner of the house next to the open garage door.  The big day was here and it excited and in the same time scared me.
The lazy late August sun painted white streaks on my shiny car and I could sense the crisp coolness of the fall in the morning air.
As always, sleepy morning of an early autumn reminded me Septembers of my college years when a bittersweet smoke of the dying fires drifted slowly above foggy Ukrainians fields.
Colleges and Universities started their academic years by sending students to the local collective farms to help with the crops. Since then, a dim September sunrise, a cool prelude to the fall, always took me back to 1960s and a city girl lost in the sad endless fields.
My heart jumped once more and returned to a slow trot. We were leaving; the car was packed and Felix just came out of the garage.  We were at the start of the adventure of our lives.
“I did it, I did it!” I was singing soundlessly.
We planned to drive from Massachusetts to Northern California   visiting National Parks and Monuments on the way, then  turn South onto Pacific Highway to Santa Monica  and  from there drive back to Massachusetts by the south route visiting more Parks and places. We planned this trip around family wedding in Kansas, a visit with our son and Grandchildren in California and, the most of all, our Golden Wedding Anniversary. We planned to travel one day for each year of our life together; it would be a long drive!
I looked at our car packed for the trip and thought about the anniversary, how did we get to this point?  How did we manage to stay married for almost fifty years?  How did our marriage survive a life packed with curve balls and high seas?  How rocky was our boat through the emigration, a language barrier, culture shock and penniless beginning?
Yet, on this beautiful August morning, I carefully navigated my X5 out of our circular driveway with an island full of blooming flowers to Mass Pike brimming with early morning traffic.
Our route mapped out, we left Massachusetts behind at no time.   We headed to Kansas for a family wedding and planned to stop in Ohio for our first night on the road.
Steamy downpours hit us somewhere in the hills of New Jersey but we were on our way across America; what could a little rain do?  I looked at sleeping in the passenger seat Felix.  He was still weak and pale after double pneumonia. He opened his eyes as if feeling my concern.
“How are you doing, Victoria? I feel better; I think I can drive for a while.”
From the passenger seat, I watched the road and stared at the wet windshield.  It became chilly in the car.        


Dmitry: Kiev, Ukraine 1960s

Victoria was wet and cold. Light rain seeped through her skin and chilled her to the core. She was standing in the shallow water of the river that just killed her husband.
She stood there for the last forty minutes that felt to her like an eternity. She just stood there, water to her knees, looking at the river. She was not frightened or sad. There were no thoughts in her head; she felt only wet and numb.  She just wanted to survive.
She could not leave the river!  Like a killer returning back to the scene of the crime, she needed to be there, in the water, where it all happened.
She felt a kick in the stomach and brushed the feeling aside.  Who, the hell, cared?  Dima was dead! The river just took him and now she was all alone.
If not for a Good Samaritan on a small boat, who had jammed an oar into her hands threshing violently in the water, she would not be here as well. May be it would be better. She felt a kick again.  The baby made it out of the river with her.  However, it was not a comforting thought right now.
Only this morning, they were so happy.  Victoria felt the first kick of the baby and Dmitry thought this kick was his personal achievement.  Well, in a sense, it was. Their four-month wedding anniversary became very special with this tiny tap from the inside world.  
The hybrid of a radio and a record player, their wedding gift called “Radiola” jumped, spewing a loud western song and they danced and jumped with the music.
Her Mom knocked on their door. “Vika, you will lose the baby, if you behave like that,” she warned her crazy kids.
Only this morning they had agreed on the names, one for a boy and one for a girl, just in case. When was it?  Not this morning, it was hundred years ago, in a different life, the bygone life. The life that river took forever.
   It all started last year, on a sunny cool November day, the holiday of the Great October Revolution.
“Only idiots could celebrate ‘October Revolution’ in November,” thought Victoria. The streets were ablaze with red flags and portraits of the Communist Party leaders. After playing all day at the parade, amateur orchestras headed home and faint music was descending from downtown. Crowds were happy with a free day and a good weather. Holiday dinners were waiting at homes.
Victoria spent the day on a blind date with a young man from out of town. Earlier, when they met, Victoria planned to show him the city, however many streets were closed by “militia” for the parade and they were tired walking all day. She decided that she had enough; enough of sightseeing, Dmitry’s stupid jokes and even his good looks.
She was a senior in Medical School and graduation was looming in a few months. Instead of being excited, she worried, she was afraid that after graduation she would have to leave Kiev and go to practice medicine in some remote area of Soviet Union. It was the school’s right to decide where she would have to go. However, she did not want to leave the city of her youth, her beloved Kiev.
She grew up on these green streets with old elegant buildings and beautiful parks, she went to the kindergarten and school here and her family and friends were here.  The only thing that could save her from an exile to a remote village somewhere at the end of the world was a marriage. She urgently needed a husband who lived in this city and had a stamp in his passport confirming that. Then, the School would let her stay and to find a job by herself.  She was about to graduate from the same Medical School as both of her parents did and they had plenty of friends in the medical world who would be able to help.
However, they could not help her to find a husband. She had plenty of blind and other dates but no good prospects to marry and she felt old at twenty-two. 
Dmitry annoyed her, he was boring and provincial and his good looks did not appeal to Victoria. Moreover, he did not live in Kiev.
  She returned home, to her small room in a grand imposing building, where she shared kitchen, bath, and toilet with two other families.
Before Revolution, it was probably a lovely five-room apartment, but now these five rooms accommodated three different families. Each had a small table in the kitchen, a small shelf in the bath and a small handmade pocket with neatly cut newspapers or old textbooks in the toilet room. The toilet paper did not exist yet in the Soviet Union. 
The Snisarenkos occupied two beautiful rooms with two large very entertaining bay windows into the courtyard. They could see all the activity in the yard, who was coming to visit or going and to catch the mailman with a large blue linen cross body bag full of newspapers and letters.
A long time ago, there was a fountain in the middle of the courtyard, but, for all the years Victoria had lived here, the fountain had never worked and its cement border had become a favorite place for the seniors. They would sit on cold cement, watching people, gossiping and making nasty remarks, yelling at the children and complaining to the parents.
Victoria was about twelve years old when she moved to this apartment with her parents. Her Dad, the doctor, got a job at the River Navigation Administration. The position came with a perk, two rooms for his five-person family; it was a great improvement in their living arrangements.
Back then, the Snisarenkos was a family of three, parents and their daughter Elizabeth. Every summer, papa Snisarenko meticulously cut Elizabeth’s textbooks from the prior year and stashed them in their toilet pocket embroidered by mama Snisarenko. Strangely, that was one of the reason Victoria had all A’s in school. That, and her photographic memory.
Lizzy and Vika, as their parents lovingly called the girls, attended the same school.  While using the toilet, Vika who was two years junior preferred to put four small pieces of paper from Snisarenkos’ pocket together, to restore the page and to read Lizzy’s school textbook rather than Soviet newspaper stored in her family’s pocket.  When two years later she caught up to Lizzy’s grade, she knew the textbook by heart and got “A’s” as a result. 
By the time Victoria was in Medical School, her family moved out of the apartment and her Dad managed to bend his employer’s rules and to leave one small room to Victoria.
The Snisarenko family grew to four when Lizzy got married and her husband moved in. The third neighbor, a riverboat captain with his wife, added Victoria parents’ larger room.
All seven inhabitants of the apartment cooked on the same gas stove, bathed in the same bath, and sat on the same toilet. Everybody knew exactly what was cooking in every pot, what was hanging in every closet, who was visiting and who was staying for the night. There were no secrets in this communal living, and even though Victoria loved her small room, she hated to share her life, her habits, and her secrets with her neighbors, the well-known strangers.
She closed the door and looked at her room; it was the first her own home and she loved it.
A small elegant vanity desk with a flip top that hid a large mirror and her makeup stood under the window. The two-door wardrobe stored all her belongings and it was on the left, next to the piano, the gift from her late Grandmother. The old, left by her parents, bookcase was in the right corner next to the window and something orange called “Recame,” a sofa bed, which Victoria and her sister shared for many years, stood along the right wall. A piano stool and one chair completed the furnishing; it was all that room could accommodate.
Victoria was about to pull out a book, when suddenly she noticed a piece of paper with an address on the table. She remembered running into her schoolteacher Mrs. Levin last week and her surprising invitation for a holiday dinner.
Mrs. Levin taught history for years. In the middle school, it was ancient and world history and Victoria loved it. However, by high school, History of the Communist Party of Soviet Union was not among her favorite subjects. She finished school almost six years ago and she saw her teachers only at the annual reunion.
When she met Mrs. Levin on the street, she did not expect the invitation for a dinner. “May be she invited me because she is Jewish and I was the only Jewish girl in her class,” contemplated Victoria. Not that it mattered to her; she did not feel she was any different. In the school, she had one single advantage, her Dad returned home alive from the war. Only two other kids in her class had fathers who survived the war.  The rest lived with theirs Mothers and envied anyone who had alive male in the family, even uncle or a grandfather.
“Hmmm,” she suddenly felt a hungry roar in her stomach and remembered smiling face of Mrs. Levin.
“Dinner is not such a bad idea.” She looked at the address and saw that the teacher lived only two blocks away.
“The book could wait,” decided Victoria. “The holiday dinner and the company would be good for me, especially after this stupid blind date”. 
Then, she remembered the boots. Last summer she had begged her Dad for two hours to give her money for the new boots and she stood in line for another four hours to get these, still-in-the-box boots. She was dying to wear them and now she had a reason.
“What a great opportunity to ventilate my boots,” she smiled.
She coated her lips with a lipstick, took an enamored look at her feet now encased in the tall stylish boots and walked out into the early dusk of the familiar city.
Cold November wind tossed her hair and Victoria wrapped her scarf and coat tightly around her; she was late. 
She rang one of the six buttons on the door and heard the bell somewhere in the distance. A drunken man in a torn sweater opened the door and silently pointed to one of the doors in a dark hallway. There were piles of coats, bikes and shoes under every door. The smell of food floated in the air.
Large holiday table was too big for a small room.  Plump Mrs. Levin hovered around the table while her husband and two daughters sat around. There was one empty space on the sofa and everybody had to get up to allow Victoria to her seat. Mrs. Levin made the introductions and suddenly Victoria realized why she was invited. Next to her on the sofa was a young man, Mrs. Levin’s nephew.
She could almost imagine the matchmaker-aunt’s pitch, “Victoria is young and single, she has her own place and just about to graduate from the medical school.” May be she even shared the info about the family, “Her father is a prominent doctor and her Mom is also a doctor at the local clinic.” 
The conversation at the table interrupted by Victoria’s arrival was about her neighbor on the sofa who had moved to the city recently and stayed with the relatives.  Just then, Victoria realized that his name was Dmitry.
“Please, call me Dima,” he said.
“Another one,” thought Victoria bitterly. “They are all the same; they even have the same names“!  She swallowed a shot of vodka and ate silently.
A great variety of Russian, Ukrainian, and Jewish dishes were on the table.  The mandatory salad “Olivie”, just the fancy French name for a mayonnaise covered mixture of potato, peas and mortadella;  herring, pickled tomatoes and cucumbers, boiled potatoes, and the crown of any holiday table, “holodnoye”, which meant “cold” and was simply  beef in gelatin, were on  a proud display.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Levin was reciting Victoria’s achievements at the school. It is turned out, she was also Victoria’s Dad’s patient for many years, and she could not say enough about him “the great doctor and, by the way, a very handsome man”.
Dima had dark curly hair and a warm smile.  His shoulders were wide and he looked stocky. He had a very pleasant slightly high-pitched voice that made Victoria think about singing. He saw to her glass and plate being full, asked about Medical School and her parents, told her a little about himself, and was generally smiley and soft spoken. He seemed like a nice guy. 
She did not know what made her hot, her warm new boots, a few shots of vodka, or his not seizing attention.   Dmitry, Dima as his aunt called him, was clearly so taken by her that Victoria allowed herself to have a good time. She was pleased when he volunteered to walk her home.   He was funny and old fashioned; he did not ask to come to her apartment, but rather gallantly asked for her phone number and permission to call her.
That night Victoria could not sleep, trying to figure out when he would call; she felt young and beautiful.
The next day was a very busy day at school. Between lectures, sitting next to Ellen, her best girlfriend, Victoria was about to burst with the news.
“He is not very tall but, definitely, taller than I. He has the cutest dark curly hair! He graduated from Leningrad Politech and the famous Director of the Kiev Computer Institute invited him to work here.  He is so smart and funny! He plays violin!  And his name is Dmitry but he prefers Dima.” 
After spending with him a mere two hours at the holiday dinner, it seemed to her that she knew him all her life and she wanted to know so much more.
Ellen was puzzled, “Dima? I though you did not like him. You said he was boring and you hated to show him the city.” 
“This is a completely different Dima, Ellen,” Victoria could not sit still. The lecture was just about to start and she had so many things to tell her girlfriend. 
“Look, what is there not to understand? I said good-bye to the first Dima after showing him Volodya Hill and then went to see my old school teacher, who introduced me to her nephew. By coincidence, his name was Dima as well. Although, the name was the same, he was a very different man. He walked me home, took my phone number and he promised to call.”
Ellen could not recall the last time her girlfriend was so excited about the date. “What if he would not call, Vika?”
Only family and close friends could call her Vika. She was born during the Second World War and was named Victoria for the victory. She was also born right after her Grandfather Volf died and, by the Jewish tradition, she was named after him as well. She was not just Vika; she was Victoria, for sure.
“You only saw him once, Victoria, do not get so excited,” cautioned Ellen. She was a year older and much more practical in a dating game than enthusiastic Victoria who bit her lip and clenched her teeth. She was not ready to confess even to herself that she hoped he would call tonight.
Victoria canceled a planned dinner with her parents and after school went straight home. She was not hungry, she was afraid to miss his call.  Thirsty, she stopped in the kitchen to get a glass of water. Pregnant Lizzy Snisarenko was cooking dinner and wanted to know what Victoria did for the Holidays.
In any day, Victoria would be happy to chat with Lizzy, but not today; the telephone could ring any minute and the hallway to her room was long. She got a glass of water and hurried back. She put the glass inside her vanity desk and examined her face in the mirror.
“May be twenty two is not that old yet,” she hoped. “I probably do not look that bad if he wanted my phone number right away”.
The telephone rang and startled Victoria; she jumped to pick up the handset and the flip top of the desk closed with a sharp crack. The large mirror fell on the glass of water and both shuttered.
“Hi, Dima,” said Victoria cheerfully.
She looked with the sheer horror at the drawer where shards of glass and mirror sparkled, mixed with water and her makeup. It was a bad sign; she felt it deeply inside.
“But I am not superstitious,” she tried to be optimistic and not give in to old women‘s tales.
“I will be ready in ten minutes,” she heard her own voice.
Her mirror was broken and her hands were shaking, but he called and that was all that mattered.
November wind blew without mercy making street lamps to bow to it gracefully and submissively as they were walking cold streets of Kiev. Light rain, mixed with the first snow of the season, cruelly attacked Dmitry’s glasses. Every few minutes he had to take them off   trying to clean them clumsily with his fluffy wet scarf.
“This is terrible,” thought Victoria. “I did not wait all day for the cold shower.”
Dima’s black curly hair was glistening under the rain.
“Tea,” finally broke down Victoria “I can make us a tea.”
To have her own room was a big convenience, especially on the night like that. 
His lips were warm and soft and his hands were cold and gentle. They forgot about the tea, they did not need food. They were falling in love.


Felix was driving west to our first stop in Ohio.   The rain stopped and sun was low, so low that the visors did not help.  He was holding his hand up, blocking the sun with his palm.  The last rays of sunset warmed the car and I shed my light sweater. Through his glowing hand Felix took a sideway look at me.
“Are you dreaming of somewhere hot, Victoria?” he asked.
I did not answer.  I was not dreaming. I was somewhere long time ago on the cold winter,  in the heat of the night, in a very small room in Kiev. With Dima…

  • Gloria Maurer
    on March 6, 2018, 6:39 p.m.

    Congratulations Nadia! Can't wait to read it!

  • Julian Litvinsky
    on March 6, 2018, 9:48 p.m.

    Dear Nadia, we are looking forward to reading your
    book, hope it's a great success, all the best, your
    friends, Julian and Rosa Litvinsky

  • Ella Gelfand
    on March 6, 2018, 10:28 p.m.

    Nadenka, I am looking forward yo reading your book. Ella

  • Valentin Abelhouse
    on March 10, 2018, 2:22 a.m.

    Dear Nadia, good for you. I am sure we have a lot of similarities in our "double life" - USSR-USA, but I do not have a time (or will) to write. I will be very happy to read your book, I am sure we have a lot of things in common. Good luck, Val Abelhouse

  • William Carleton
    on March 10, 2018, 4:59 p.m.

    Nadia, We send our best wishes for a most successful book promotion. We have discussed many experiences in our professional past, and we thank you for sharing your personal life adventures as an inspiration for all.
    Warm regards, Bill and Donna

  • esfira dabuzhsky
    on March 13, 2018, 6:40 p.m.

    Congratulation on your first book. Looking forward start reading it.

  • MARK Weinberg
    on March 13, 2018, 9:15 p.m.

    Looking forward to get the book.
    Congratulations with your first book!
    Mila, Mark

  • Elizabeth Greene
    on March 19, 2018, 1:46 a.m.

    Looking forward to receiving my copy of your wonderful book! xo

  • Mariel Donath
    on March 20, 2018, 7:56 p.m.

    Warmest wishes for your book,
    Mariel & Eric Donath

  • Jeff Werner
    on March 22, 2018, 12:46 p.m.

    Nadia, Best Wishes from Jeff and Nancy. Let us know when you are local to see Jake and Henry.... lol...

  • Jaime Taber
    on March 25, 2018, 4:04 a.m.

    Looking forward to it—and to the day when I present my copy to be signed by the author!

  • Leona Paul
    on March 26, 2018, 3:29 p.m.

    I was there from the beginning I watched your children grow into fine young men

  • Carol Shain
    on March 26, 2018, 7:39 p.m.

    So proud of your accomplishment. You have always been an inspiration. Xxx

  • Wendy Buckler
    on March 26, 2018, 9:04 p.m.

    Looking forward to reading it! Congratulations on publishing.

    on March 27, 2018, 12:15 a.m.