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It isn't up to be ordered on Amazon yet, Laura, but I will do so when it is, I promise!

A Voice of Sanity

In major cities in Canada there are (often free) newspapers in Russian and other languages with advertisements. Also you could try some of the Russian related mail lists - although many seem to relate to Russian brides. Note BTW that FSU = Former Soviet Union.

carole gill

So delighted!
You better believe I'll read it, Laura!
Wonderful news!


This is kind of lame, but Craigslist has a section for Russia.

On another note, you might consider checking with the University to see if they know anyone (check the language and literature departments or even the library).


Possibly you took the same Russian course I did. "Privet, Nina! Are you going to the factory meeting tonight?", etc. Oh, the balmy days of Soviet-style communism and language instruction that are no more.

I shall look forward to your work on La Tarnowska and I sympathize on the harrowing research process. I am an addict of Joseph Shearing's fictional recreations of historic crimes, and several times the library has refused to let me check out certain titles ordered through Inter-library Loan, but reluctantly licensed me to read the crumbling archaic work while sitting directly in front of the librarian. You learn to read fast during your lunch hour!

Laura James

Thanks for the wonderful suggestions, everyone! I'll first try the University English departments. Excellent suggestion.

Yes Foose we did take the same "Modern Russian" course!

I love the research process. It's great fun. The more difficulties the libraries and archives create for me, the more I relish the mission.

Crime historian Albert Borowitz wrote an essay in one of his books describing a research nightmare that he had at a library in London, rich with frustrations as one librarian after another announced another hours-long wait and shrugged off the distance he traveled (from Ohio) for the information he'd requested. I'll have to dig it up and quote it.

Printemps (formerly "A." ;)

I'd certainly love to read it!
I've been "researching" her since 1977 when I first read Habe's novel. It wasn't easy, especially before the advent of the internet - my tastes have always been... "avantgarde". ;)

Meanwhile, I am sure you are familiar with this publication (amazingly exhaustive for a basically marketing device)?

It's the first time I've seen concrete data about her post-prison years.

And BTW, do you happen to know what happened to her son and daughter?
I know the daughter was certainly alive in 1949, but of her later fate I know nothing. And the son, Tioka, is a non-entity, as far as most journalists and writers are concerned.

Anyway: the best of luck!
I'll be rooting for you.

Laura James

Thanks for your nice note, Printemps / A.
I can't answer all your questions yet, but I have many leads.
I have the book you link from the Hotal Ala and have corresponded with the owners. I look forward to visiting the hotel (perhaps next spring). If anyone else shares my fascination with the case, I'd love to have your company in Venice. One person I hope to talk to (and for whom I am polishing my Italian) is Claudio dell'Orso, who was done quite a lot of research and who has written about the Countess in a couple of his books. One is Nero Veneziano.
According to research that Hans Habe conducted, Marie remarried in London to someone named N.N. Boys. There was some talk that he was an American. But I cannot find any record of the marriage, and US Census records don't seem to produce anyone with that name. Ah, well, it's quite enjoyable to hunt down these leads.

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