“In re-creating Olga’s Story, Stephanie Williams has managed to do something I would have thought impossible: she has given us a new vantage point from which to view the turbulent and often hellish years of the first half of the twentieth century. Born in 1900 to a loving and prosperous family in Siberia, Olga saw her world and family shredded in the murderous fighting between the Reds and the White Russians that followed the Bolshevik revolution. She survived by moving first to Vladivostok, and thence to Tianjin, in northern China, and to Shanghai. After the Japanese had wiped out those Chinese havens, she found a measure of peace first in western Canada and finally at Oxford. This is a beautifully written and subtly crafted book. Olga’s Story leaves one awestruck at how much human beings can witness and experience, without losing their bearings altogether.”
—Jonathan Spence, Yale University, author of The Death of Woman Wang and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci
From the Hardcover edition.