My Mother’s Teeth by Anna Fridlis
Punctured Lines
by Olga Zilberbourg
1M ago
My Mother’s Teeth   were prone to cavities from childhood.   In my mind’s eye, I see her gaps-for-teeth, hand cupping mouth, handkerchief clasped to lips after an extraction — that euphemism that stinks of silent Soviet disappearances, people pulled from dark rooms at night, never returning.   Once healed, the gaps were filled variously with dental implants and partial dentures: my mother’s mouth is not quite her own.   The extracted people were never returned, which my mother made it her duty to remember. If she is passionate about anything, it is ..read more
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Vinegret, a Recipe for Disaster by Jane Muschenetz
Punctured Lines
by Olga Zilberbourg
1M ago
I want to tell you something small, in the great turning of this world, intimate as your grandmother’s soup. When you boil beets, carrots, and potatoes together, the potatoes will soften first, even if they are bigger than the other vegetables. It is summer 2020, and my hands are Shakespearian (“out, damned spot!”)—beet stained. Our mid-century dining table is a stage set for “Salat Vinegret,” the Soviet-era culinary staple featuring ingredients that are readily available and inexpensive, even in wintertime. The supporting cast of bowls, knives, etc., isn’t from the old country, but is well p ..read more
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Punctured Lines Authors at San Francisco’s Lit Crawl
Punctured Lines
by Olga Zilberbourg
1M ago
San Francisco Bay Area readers, take note: for the second year in a row, Punctured Lines is producing an event during San Francisco’s Lit Crawl. On Saturday, October 21, 5 pm at 518 Valencia, a group of Bay Area authors will come together with poetry, stories and essays centered on Ukraine. Several of these authors have been regulars on our blog, and we’re delighted to introduce a few new names to our line up from last year. This event was a long time in the making. As Ukraine continues to defend its sovereignty against Russia’s assault, it remains paramount to continue to tell our stories and ..read more
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Ugrinovich and the Sex Giant: Fiction by Anna Natalia Malachowskaja, translated by Anastasia Savenko-Moore
Punctured Lines
by Olga Zilberbourg
1M ago
Anna Natalia Malachowskaja is a well-known Soviet and Russian author, feminist, and dissident. In 1979, together with Tatiana Goricheva, Tatiana Mamonova, and Julia Voznesenskaya, she wrote and edited a feminist samizdat publication Женщина и Россия [Woman and Russia] and later Maria. These publications were deemed anti-Soviet; the women were questioned by the KGB and forced to emigrate. Having settled in Austria, Malachowskaja completed her Ph.D. at the University of Salzburg. She turned her research into the Russian folklore character of Baba Yaga into a series of published books where she a ..read more
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The Soviet-Jewish Experience in North America: A Conversation Between Masha Rumer and Lea Zeltserman
Punctured Lines
by Yelena Furman
1M ago
Today we welcome Masha Rumer and Lea Zeltserman back to Punctured Lines. They have both done Q&As with us previously (here and here), and each has participated in one of two different readings we organized by FSU immigrant writers (the recordings are here and here). We are extremely grateful to them for generating both the thought-provoking questions and answers in this exchange. This piece was a long time in the making, as all of us dealt, in various combinations, with the pandemic, the war, cross-country moves, and personal upheavals. We are thrilled to feature their wide-ranging and poi ..read more
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What Drives Me Nuts: Fiction by Naomi Marcus
Punctured Lines
by Olga Zilberbourg
1M ago
I met Naomi Marcus through a mutual friend in San Francisco last year. Speaking fluent Russian, Naomi shared that in her youth she’d spent many years in the Soviet Union as a tour guide and interpreter. A journalist by training, when she returned to the US in the 1990s, she translated a book by a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war; more recently, she has been reporting for Mission Local and San Francisco Senior Beat and helping Ukrainian refugees find their footing in the US. She told me that as she first landed in the USSR back in 1979, Leningrad was experiencing purportedly the coldest winter ..read more
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Three Poems from Disbelief: 100 Russian Anti-War Poems, edited by Julia Nemirovskaya
Punctured Lines
by Yelena Furman
1M ago
Today we feature three poems from the Russian-language anthology Disbelief: 100 Russian Anti-War Poems (edited by Julia Nemirovskaya; various translators; Smokestack Books, 2023). We are grateful for the following introduction written for Punctured Lines by Maria Bloshteyn, one of the translators of the collection. As she notes below, one of the featured poets, Galina Itskovich, is a therapist helping those in Ukraine; you can donate here to support this work. Introduction by Maria Bloshteyn: After the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, there was an outpouring of Russophone ..read more
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Olga Krauze, a profile by Sonja Franeta
Punctured Lines
by calisto239
1M ago
“Обстрел прекратился в 11:30. Пока всё тихо. У нас в квартире тепло, работает водопровод и центральное отопление. Нет электричества, но светит солнце и на улице тает снег.” [The shelling stopped at 11:30. For now everything is quiet. Our apartment is warm, and there’s running water and central heating. No electricity, but the sun is shining and the snow is melting outside.] —my friend Olga Krauze writes from Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine. I was interviewing her on Zoom for this profile and we got interrupted. Olga is a poet and singer and I’ve known her since 1991. She has l ..read more
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My Mother’s Teeth by Anna Fridlis
Punctured Lines
by Olga Zilberbourg
4M ago
My Mother’s Teeth   were prone to cavities from childhood.   In my mind’s eye, I see her gaps-for-teeth, hand cupping mouth, handkerchief clasped to lips after an extraction — that euphemism that stinks of silent Soviet disappearances, people pulled from dark rooms at night, never returning.   Once healed, the gaps were filled variously with dental implants and partial dentures: my mother’s mouth is not quite her own.   The extracted people were never returned, which my mother made it her duty to remember. If she is passionate about anything, it is ..read more
Visit website
Vinegret, a Recipe for Disaster by Jane Muschenetz
Punctured Lines
by Olga Zilberbourg
7M ago
I want to tell you something small, in the great turning of this world, intimate as your grandmother’s soup. When you boil beets, carrots, and potatoes together, the potatoes will soften first, even if they are bigger than the other vegetables. It is summer 2020, and my hands are Shakespearian (“out, damned spot!”)—beet stained. Our mid-century dining table is a stage set for “Salat Vinegret,” the Soviet-era culinary staple featuring ingredients that are readily available and inexpensive, even in wintertime. The supporting cast of bowls, knives, etc., isn’t from the old country, but is well p ..read more
Visit website

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