Hodeh dressed as his Snow Maiden watched from a few steps away as Dovid unwrapped the little present she’d handed him. A surprise to Musya, it was nicely wrapped in Chinese paper, a jewelry box.

с новым годом. This is the Russian New Year’s greeting which goes, I learn, somewhat like “SNO-vim GO-dahm” and I wish it to all readers! The scene above features “traditional” costumes, with Dovid in the robes of Ded Moroz, Father Frost, and little Hodeh as Snegurochka, his granddaughter-helper and Snow Maiden. Here the characters ride with a Soviet-era child hockey star in a real Russian troika.

Source: Vintage Everyday

Naturally the Bolsheviks outlawed any honoring of ancient mythological Christmas figures at any point in the Soviet calendar; but Stalin brought back Ded Moroz and gave him New Year’s Eve. As for the maiden, the opera named for her by Rimsky-Korsakov went on to provide the soundtrack for a popular 1952 animated Soviet film which I wish I’d known about at the time I was writing the book, I might have put it in. Oh well.

Pre-1917. Source: Wikimedia

Far from wishing to spread regrets, I want to take this space to express my gratitude for being given so many kind and intrepid readers. Thank you, each one, for devoting your time to reading LAMENT and to seeing it through. To everyone who’s shared their impressions, thank you. To the reviewers who’ve said such five-star things on Amazon, five thousand thanks. I’m grateful for every word of interest and encouragement. In the New Year I’ll be looking at new ways to bring the work to new readers; stay tuned for word of public events, readings, book fairs…who knows?

And 2019 will also see the Nostalgistudio digital and prints editions of FAMEPUNK, Parts 1, 2 and 3…with new peeks at Part 4 forthcoming.

N.Stroganova, M.Alexeiev. Happy New Year!
Leningrad, 1956. Source:

Happy New Year!