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Alexander C. Dolinin

2018

Alexander C. Dolinin is a Canadian writer of Russian origin. He writes both in English and in Russian.
He was born and raised in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in the former Soviet Union, where he earned an MA in Iranian philology from the State University of Leningrad. After emigrating to Canada, he earned a BA in Honors History from McMaster University, with Russian history as one of his areas of specialization.
He writes historical novels. They focus on the relation between the individual and the state in periods of social cataclysm; the social position of minorities, especially the indigenous peoples of Russia and Canada; and cross-cultural and cross-racial relations in colonial and post-colonial societies.
His first novel, Against Destiny (KünatI, 2009), written in English, is the first novel about an escape from Stalin’s Gulag. Four veterans of “the Great Patriotic War” (i.e. the Second World War) have been sent to a labor camp in the Kolyma region, after being convicted on false charges. Along with another prisoner, a local Chukchi man, they escape, with the aim of getting to Alaska. The novel combines a thrilling plot with knowledge of historical realities and with understanding of the culture and way of living of the Chukchi people. (See details in www.againstdestiny.com.). Booklist (April 15, 2009) described the novel as  “...a well researched and compelling tale.” Several chapters were published in Russian translation (by the author) in a leading Russian-language newspaper Nasha Canada (Our Canada).
Russian America is the author’s second novel. Written in two versions - Russian and English. This novel is the first fictional description of the decline and fall of Russia’s North American colony (the “Russian America” of the title), whose sale to the United States in 1867 still puzzles and upsets many Russians. (The Russian title, Zemlica Alyasochka (literally, "Little dear land Alaska") refers somewhat mockingly to a popular song by the nationalistic musical band "Lube".) The novel combines a fast-moving plot with analysis of the inner life of the colony, its connections with the imperial Russian capital of St. Petersburg, and its relations with its numerous indigenous neighbors and with its trade partners from other European countries. It gives a panoramic picture of life in Russian America and its abundant problems. The novel’s characters (both Russian and Indigenous) are partly fictional and partly historical. The combination allows reflection in a fictional setting on the complexity of factors developing in the colony and in Russia itself by the time of the colony’s sale. In an experiment in alternative history, the novel fantasizes about what could have been done to prevent the demise of an initially flourishing enterprise.
The author has started to write his third novel, Wheel of History, about the fate of the White Army, which lost to the Red Army in the Russian civil war in the 1920s. Remnants of the army of the main White commander in the East, Alexander Vassilyevich Kolchak, ended up in China and Mongolia. One of the characters in the novel is the infamous Baron von Ungern (Baron Khan Roman Friederich Nickolaus von Ungern-Sternberg).
Alexander C. Dolinin lives in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

Against Destiny. Künati: Clearwater, Fl, USA, 2009
“Побег” (Escape). An excerpt from "Against Destiny" ("Вопреки судьбе") translated into Russian by the author.. Наша Канада(Our Canada), the major Russian-language Canadian newspaper. (www.nashacanada.com), pp.10-11, Issue 24(208), 2009
"Последний рывок" (The last push). Excerpt from Against Destiny, translated into Russian by the author.. Наша Канада(Our Canada), p.14, Issue 2 (210)., 2010
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

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