“Where are you from?” People want to know.
“I’m from here. I live in Washington DC.”
“No. I mean, originally, where are you from?” They insist.
“I’m from Italy.”
“Oh, Italy. What a wonderful place!” They are really appreciative of my native country. They tell me about how much fun they had on their recent trip.
“Why did you move to the US?”
“I married an American. I was still a student in those days.”
“And then, what happened?”
What happened . . . I earned my PhD in Russian Literature at UCLA. As a professor, I taught courses in literature, cinema and visual culture at Purdue University and subsequently Georgetown University until I retired in 2013. At some point in my career, I took a leave and went to Moscow, where I worked for USIA at the American Embassy as the Deputy Director of Public Information and Media Outreach and the Editor-In-Chief of the magazine Connections. Back in DC, I alternated between teaching and working at the World Bank as the managing editor of the magazine Development Outreach. I also served on the Advisory Film Committee of the National Gallery of Art. Toward the end of my academic career, I ventured into the private sector and founded the publishing house New Academia Publishing, which is today a successful enterprise.
Writing has been an important activity in all my jobs over the years. I am the author of three scholarly books, edited volumes, and numerous articles and essays in academic collections. My book, Imaging Russia 2000: Film and Facts, received the CHOICE Award as Outstanding Academic Title 2005. Then, the time came when I switched to fiction, and my first novel, Family Album, was published in Italy. It will soon come out in the English translation.
Now my second novel, Amy’s Story, has just been released.
Although inspired by some real places and circumstances, it is not autobiographic. It is pure fiction.