Books Books Books … and more books … et moi et moi et moi …

Today I am going to speak some more about my next book – Sitting on a Stick – which is currently with some UK-based literary agents and publishers.

Boris Pasternak

Today, I am going to speak some more about my next book – Sitting on a Stick – which is currently with some UK-based literary agents and publishers.

Those of you who know me personally, and those who have read the page ‘my latest news’ here on this website, will know that it is about the Russian poet, playwright, novelist and 1958 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate, Boris Pasternak.

Pasternak has been a real passion in my life for years now. (You will ask “but what about Dr. Petiot?”, but Petiot came along only six years ago, and then, he’s an interest rather than a passion.)  With Pasternak, however, it’s different.

The young Omar Sharif

When Pasternak was rewarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958, I was still (as is said) wet behind the ears, but I’d already read his Doctor Zhivago. In 1965 when the movie Doctor Zhivago with Omar Sharif in the title role and Julie Christie in the main feminine lead role, that of Lara, was released, I was already quite lost in my admiration for Pasternak. By the way, I had a general interest in Russia which my family always explained as ‘genetic’- my maternal great- and –grandparents hailed from Polish-Russia (from PARU – the Polish and Russian Union).

The young Julie Christie

It was here in Paris, about 12 years ago, when yet again rereading Pasternak’s work, that I also became interested in the woman who had been the role model for the Lara character in Doctor Zhivago.

Her name was Olga Invinskaya and she had been the married Pasternak’s lover.

Olga Ivinskaya

She wrote a book about their life together – A Captive of Time – and having read it, I nonchalantly told my husband that if I had had an affair with Pasternak, I would have written a very different book than Olga had done. His reply was, “Well, write it. Write in her voice and tell the story of their love.”

So, Sitting on a Stick began.

I had put the novel aside to research and write Die in Paris about Dr. Petiot, but now, the beheaded doctor having seen the light of day, so to speak, because of my book, I have returned to the much more savory Pasternak.

In my novel, Olga Ivinskaya’s fictional name is Tanya Brodovskaya. Pasternak’s fictional name is Boris Beretzkoi.

In recounting the story of their love, Tanya also tells of the horror of living under Stalin. She tells of the millions who had died during and because of his collectivization policy, and she tells of their fear during his Great Terror when no one was safe.

I will in a day or two post a very short extract of the novel here on my website. Don’t fret because it won’t be long – just a few pages.

Meanwhile, here is the trailer of the movie Doctor Zhivago watch?v=wAWrXTn5Www

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

3 Responses to “Books Books Books … and more books … et moi et moi et moi …”

  1. 3
    Picture Books Says:

    It has a bunch of projects in it that are all very well thought out and explained and in a lot of different styles. Picture Books

  2. 2
    SaraLouise Says:

    This sounds really good! I’m more interested in the history of Russia before the fall of the Tsar but I am very much looking forward to the extract. You’ve chosen an interesting topic.

  3. 1
    Jo Wake Says:

    Having already read some of Sitting on a Stick, I am looking forward to reading the whole story.

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My book

The horrific story of WW2 French serial killer Dr Marcel Petiot, France's most prolific killer.



- For the Love of a Poet - a novel set in the Soviet Union.
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