Why writers aspiring to write in a second language should avoid the “Strong Opinions”

Photo by Saeeed Karimi from Pexels

You would think the famous author of “Lolita” was the last person to have difficulties in writing in English. The literary aristocrat Vladimir Nabokov was fluent in Russian and English from infancy, thanks in particular to the English governess in family’s employ, who later worked for the Tsar’s children. …

even sparrows behave unexpectedly

I sat on a patio of a small cafe in the historic Distillery District in Toronto, enjoying my first breakfast in a public place after a pandemic. Nothing could spoil the sweet taste of freedom in my mouth, and it didn't matter that while the latte…

in search of the blueprint of a happy marriage

As a happily (so far) married woman, I want to believe that marital bliss is not a rare occasion but a general rule. Otherwise, the opening of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” would not make any sense. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”…

when it’s okay to interrogate your father in the bathroom

Without knowing what the other side wants, there is no chance of compromising.

This happened when our son Mitch was seven years old. I was still recovering from surgery, which seemed like a plausible excuse for not attending the fundraising…

Subtleties of staying in touch with family

My eyesight is failing, so when I talk to my two older boys on weekends on WhatsApp, I take my glasses off and bring the phone closer to my eyes. …

but does it matter?

For reference, I look like the turquoise figurine in a white fur hat above, and this story was inspired by Lindsey Moore’s post.

When I was in university, a professor called my name, I stood up, but he looked through me, expecting to see someone with a more common Russian…

Moral lessons, Leo Tolstoy and Russian education

No parent of a primary school student in Russia would question why Leo Tolstoy’s fables remain a constant school curriculum feature. Starting from Soviet times, those fables were the material from which the younger generation got its moral lessons. …

The greatest Russian poet lost in translation to English

The verse by Russian poet Pushkin I wanted to use in my article seemed quite unsophisticated. Or so I thought. Russian literature is widely known worldwide, so as a rule, it’s easy to find an adequate English translation of any Russian author. This time I googled Pushkin’s phrase I knew…

Take a compliment and don’t ask

My husband likes food. And sales. Sometimes these passions come together and wreak havoc. One time he brought home a chunk of cheese of unknown origin. It tasted bad by itself, got even bitter when grated. Put in the oven, it didn’t melt but become a rubbery lump. …

Nadya Semenova

The world is a storyteller; let’s find out what those stories are!

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