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Book Cover of Mother Doll By Katya Apekina

Katya Apekina On Mediums, Complicated Family Relationships, And The Weight Of Storytelling

On the surface, the circumstances of Zhenia’s are similar to a lot of young people in their twenties. Her marriage has sputtered out, she’s grown apart from her best friend from college, and she’s recently found out she’s pregnant.  What sets Zhenia apart from her peers, however, is the fact that the ghost of her great-grandmother, Irina, has recently contacted her through a medium, Paul. Zhenia soon finds herself on marathon phone calls with Paul as he channels Irina, who spills the secrets of her life as a young woman in pre-revolution Russia and the events that led her to commit an act for which her family has never forgiven her. With Mother Doll, Katya Apekina has crafted an enormously compassionate tale of family relationships, immigration, and war that has received raves from critics. In its starred review, Kirkus Reviews raved, “Like the Russian nesting dolls that inspired it, Mother Doll reveals layer after layer of poignant delight.” Apekina spoke to us about the book’s origins, delving into the complicated relationships of her characters, and the connection she discovered between channeling and the writing process.