• DIARY

    ПРИБЫТИЕ

        Я уехала из России в день рожденья бабушки. “Лучший подарок для нее, если ты не будешь плакать,” просила мама. Меня предупредили заранее, что в Канаде столько высоток, что блеск только одной звезды не меркнет от искусственного света – Путеводной. Небоскрёбы меня не пугали, потому как все 11 лет детства довелось провести в старейшей высотке Екатеринбурга. Целых 8 этажей, включая подвал, кишащий призракaми сталинских репрессий и сумрачным духом тревоги. “Видела решётку, Настя, что закрывает вход в подвал? Это решётка в подземелье. Там кости и дверь прямо в преисподнюю,” шептали подруги. Но ни полуночные бредни, ни убийства в соседних дворах во время лихих 90-тых, ни стаи бездомных собак, круживших под…

  • STORIES

    RENDEZ-VOUS CAFÉ

    This story centers on three hopeful young people. Each of them is expecting a life-changing email that day. None of them know how small the world is, and it is within their power to manifest each other’s dreams…or break them.   “Rendez-Vous” café is a cozy place where people come to avoid one another, and the world leisurely revolves in a bubble of green tea– a drinkable meditation. Only the Now exists at “Rendez-Vous”; the past discarded at the threshold like a pair of muddy shoes; the future – looming as a bill for a comfortable time. One bleak winter day, an errant group of 20-somethings overturned the porcelain calm…

  • ESSAYS

    A REFLECTION ON REFLECTIONS

    It was my first year in Canada. Recess in Grade 6. A few girls from Grade 8 beaconed to me – I was to become their next fashion project. “I like your gray eyes,” one of them examined my face like a canvass before procuring her mascara. I smiled in reply, “I think all shades are beautiful.” The girls seemed to agree in celebration of diversity. A pretty brown-skinned girl was making her way across the grounds. Our eyes met. Hers were striking jet-black. She seemed eager to join us, but the girls whispered to each other, “Don’t look at her.” Sensing their distrust, the girl continued on her way.…

  • ESSAYS

    TOGETHER

        Recently I had a talk with a CEO of a major joint venture company. He noted that only 1 or 2 out of 100 connections on LinkedIn had proved useful. Quality and productivity will always exceed quantity. How many connections have you helped this year so far? – 1 or 100? How many are still waiting for your aid? In 2013, I met a New York Times Bestselling Editor, whom I considered the best thing that happened to me in 2013. She was also the worst that happened to me in 2014. After promising to help me with my first novel, she took 9 months to respond, and…

  • STORIES

    KNOW THYSELF

    I believe that all roads in the world – all challenges and circumstances – lead to one’s True Self. The potholes of regret we encounter on the way, the fast-track of joy and long trails of hardship bring us to one supreme destination: Acceptance. The pitch of this story is simple: a mega-successful young woman, an expert in personality types, is the survivor of an accident which wiped her memory clean of the first twenty-five years of her life. A bestselling author, ready to embark on her world book tour, she receives a video tape, claiming to hold the truth of her past life. Will she dare watch the tape…

  • DIARY

    POLARIS

      I left Russia on my grandmother’s birthday. “The best gift will be if you don’t cry,” my mother advised. I was warned in advance that Canada has so many skyscrapers that the glow of only one star does not fade from the artificial light – the Polaris, nicknamed in Russian “The star of the travellers”. Skyscrapers could not intimidate me, as my first 11 years of childhood went by in the oldest skyscraper of Ekaterinburg. Eight floors, including the basement, swarming with phantoms of the Stalinist repressions and an obscure sense of alarm. “Have you seen the bars, Nastya (*short for Anastasia), guarding the entrance to the basement? It’s…

  • DIARY

    The Firebird

    In Russian folklore, The Firebird can see the future. The capture of the Firebird may be a blessing or a curse… There were three 19th century houses, a block away from my own, which once belonged to the merchant Agafourov.   The first of these boasted an intricate wooden design; another – an oriental style with luminous, stained-glass windows; and the third one was low, with yellow shutters and a squeaking ancient gate, inviting you into the past. A sculpture of a Firebird was rumoured to splash gold rays from its wings in one of those houses. But one day it had flown away in the bag of a robber. In…