Monday, February 01, 2016
A Year Without Mom, by Dasha Tolstikova
Told in a graphic novel drawn in a style that betrays Tolstikova's love of the Russian absurdists, A Year Without Mom tells a simple but genuine story of growing up in a time of change.
And now for the full disclosure....
I met Dasha's mother Natasha when she came to the University of Illinois to study advertising during the "year without mom" and met Dasha herself the following summer when I visited the family in Moscow in 1992 (somewhere around page 152 in this novel). I, of course, knew nothing of the dramas of her life (for me, she was a schoolgirl with an impressive knowledge of The Beatles), but I grew to know her mother and grandparents quite well in the years that followed. And I took this picture of Dasha in her family's kitchen that summer: