New Yorker, May 3, 1982
MOPSY and I went back together as far as I can go. Roaring Gap, North Carolina, summer of 1951. Mopsy (her youngest daughter, reading about Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail in a little book by Beatrix Potter, decided she should be called Mopsy, and that became her family name; her real name …Read More
In 1977, a book editor suggested that I write up the history of my family, and I accepted the proposition not only eagerly but with a sense of urgency. My two grandmothers were both nearly ninety. I had heard some of their stories, in bits and pieces -of how they had got out of Russia …Read More
New Yorker, April 26, 1982
In 1820, at the age of thirty-six, Andrei Fyodorovitch Lukianovitch left his regiment (the Hussars) to become the governor of Simbirsk, a sleepy province on the Volga. After six uneventful years there, he retired to his land on the Orel, in the Ukraine, where he built a large house on the …Read More
By Alex Shoumatoff
Writers tend to have an inflated sense of their own importance and lasting worth. Mine was deflated in 1999, by a visit to the basement of Alfred Knopf, the eminent publishing house. I was doing a magazine piece on the remarkable, feisty couple, Alfred and Blanche Knopf, who founded it. There, on row …Read More
By Alex Shoumatoff
This originally appeared in the January, 2007 Travel + Leisure, and is reproduced from travelandleisure.com.
In search of family history—and to meet a long-lost, distant cousin—Alex Shoumatoff crosses the country to the ancient city of Novgorod and finds a place of exhilarating beauty and personal resonance. From January 2007
I think of myself sometimes as …Read More
By Clara Castelar
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My mother’s family has a talent for the improbable. This is something I only came to appreciate when I tried to chart the paths that led my Melo and Oliveira ancestors from Iberia to sleepy little towns …Read More
On August 8 of this year, 2001, I drove from our place in the Adirondacks to Cambridge, Massachusetts to discuss a possible future Dispatch with a Shamar Rinpoche, a high lama of the kagiu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and an American practitioner whom I have known since childhood. The drive across New England took five …Read More
A month later, I went to New York City for a memorial service for my editor at Harper Collins, Robert Jones, an extraordinary person, an old soul if you believe in that sort of thing, highly evolved and deeply compassionate, who had truly devoted himself to his writers, to nurturing their talent and bringing out …Read More