An arresting memoir equal parts refugee-coming-of-age story, feminist manifesto, and meditation on motherhood, displacement, gender politics, and art that follows award-winning writer Sophia Shalmiyevs flight from the Soviet Union, where she was forced to abandon her estranged mother, and her subsequent quest to find her.Born to a Russian mother and an Azerbaijani father, Shalmiyev was raised in the stark oppressiveness of 1980s Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). An imbalance of power and the prevalence of antisemitism in her homeland led her father to steal Shalmiyev away, emigrating to America, abandoning her estranged mother, Elena. At age eleven, Shalmiyev found herself on a plane headed west, motherless and terrified of the new world unfolding before her.Now a mother herself, in Mother Winter Shalmiyev depicts in urgent vignettes her emotional journeys as an immigrant, an artist, and a woman raised without her mother. She tells of her early days in St. Petersburg, a land unkind to wo...
|Title||:||Mother Winter: A Memoir|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Mother Winter: A Memoir Reviews
Intense emotion; a compelling, tangible rendering of a tough childhood in late-Soviet Union Leningrad; an extended meditation on the mother-child bond; elliptical, vignette-heavy structure; poetic writing. I found much of it powerful but the images/metaphors felt piled on a bit past my endurance at times and could have an alienating effect, though I admire the ambition and effort. I'm also not 100% convinced by the narrator's persona--something seemed vaguely false or lacking, not just ...more
I found the story of the author's childhood in Russia fascinating. The author was separated from her mother when she was quite young and despite a trip back to Russia in 2004, was not able to track her down. The writing is engaging, but the organization of the story is disjointed and rambling. The author throws in references at odd junctures, which is disconcerting. It's an interesting story, but the disjointed writing made it difficult to follow. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance read.
Mother Winter is award-winning writer Sophia Shalmiyev's autobiographical account of her challenging childhood and her need to find somewhere she belonged. The description of leaving Russia with her father to fly to the US in search of a better life reminded me very much of Maria Sharapova's memoir as the situation where her mother stayed behind in Russia with Shalmiyev having to grow up without her is identical to what happened in Sharapova's early life. I couldn't imagine growing up without a ...more
This is Sophia’s debut book; a memoir of her life and I feel memoirs cannot be given ratings like a fictional book, because this is her story, she lived it and she is gifting it to us and I am grateful she did. Release Date February 2019
Sophia elegantly and lyrically takes us on the journey of her life, what it was like for her to live without her mother. A mother she was taken from; because her mother was an alcoholic. A father she was forced to live with, a father who was abusive and took her ...more
I was instantly riveted by this book. I love the structure-- sparse, poetic, vignettes. I was especially impressed by the construction of the child-narrator in the book's first half--she was alive on the page, vulnerable, curious, hungry for love. For anyone interested in the plight of the refusnik's-- Jew's who left the Soviet Union as refugees in the late 80s-- this is especially compelling, but what resonated even deeper with this reader was the narrator's longing for her mother, a longing th ...more
After her alcoholic mother lost custody of ten-year-old Sophia Shalmiyev, her father emigrated with her from Leningrad to the United States - as they left the USSR in 1989, Shalmiyev not only lost her biological mother, but her home country collapsed and vanished behind her. In her memoir, which is also the author's literary debut, we learn about Shalmiyev's childhood and adolescence which were overshadowed by her mother's illness and excess as well as her father's violence, about her trip back ...more
mother winter is something adjacent to but not entirely like a memoir; it feels more like a sort of curation of tapes, recorded pieces of thought cut out of the fabric of a life and grafted together, played into a slight graininess and, at times, an almost incomprehensibility, homophonous sounds tripping the tongue and the mind. reading it is a dizzying, an unsettling experience - shalmiyev is writing about the vast unanswerability of being an exile, a refugee, a motherless daughter, a woman, a ...more