Tuesday, Apr 26, 2022 7:00p -

Porter Square Books: Cambridge
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

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Art, History, Lectures & Conferences, Rainy Day Ideas

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Porter Square Books is delighted to welcome local author Yelena Lembersky to discuss her memoir about life in Soviet Russia, Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour, coauthored by her mother Galina Yembersky. "Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour is more ambitious than the average memoir. It’s informed by Galina’s and her parents’ lessons on the value of art and culture and enriched by Alëna’s beautifully constructed images and Galina’s poetry," praised one reviewer in the Los Angeles Review of Books. The author will be joined in conversation by Weina Randel, local award-winning author of The Last Rose of Shanghai.

This event will take place on Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm at Porter Square Books: Cambridge Edition. Space will be limited, so be sure to RSVP below to save your spot!

About the Book

Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour is a mother-and-daughter memoir about three generations of women and their fight to leave Soviet Russia. A mother is a dissident, a refusenik, and a prisoner in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) in the 1970s and '80s. Her daughter, eleven years old, is left without a family. A grandmother is in the USA, waiting for her daughter and granddaughter and not knowing if she would ever see them again. "I am fine," the three of them write to each other in their letters. 

How are you "fine" when you have to fight to survive? When you must be silent? When the place that you love turns against you? When the regime suppresses identity, speech, and religion, turning people into puppets? When lies are given as truths, historical facts are distorted?

Told from the dual points of view, this memoir shows the reality of life in the Soviet Union, giving an insider’s perspective on the roots of Putin’s Russia. It is also a coming-of-age story, heartfelt and funny, a testament to the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of art.


Yelena Lembersky, an author of two books, essays, and stories that appeared in Forward and Cardinal Points Literary Journal. Yelena grew up in Leningrad and immigrated to the USA in 1987. She holds degrees in art and architecture from MIT and the University of Michigan. She is a granddaughter of Felix Lembersky (1913-1970), a prominent Soviet Jewish artist and the creator of Babyn Yar paintings. She lives north of Boston.

Weina Dai Randel is the award-winning author of three novels, The Last Rose of Shanghai, The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon, a historical duology about Wu Zetian, China’s only female emperor. Weina is the winner of the RWA RITA Award, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist, a Goodreads Choice Award semifinalist, and a RT Book Reviewers Choice Award nominee. Her books have been translated into eleven languages.

Born in China, Weina came to the United States at twenty-four, when she switched to English and began to speak, write and dream in her second language. She holds an MA in English from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She has worked as the subject-matter expert for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program and as an adjunct professor for Eastfield College. Interviews with Weina have appeared on WFAA’s Good Morning Texas and in such publications as World Literature Today, China Daily,  The Wall Street JournalHuffington Post,  Los Angeles Review of Books, and RT Book Reviews. After living in Texas for years, Weina now resides in Boston with her loving husband, two children, and a family of chipmunks in the backyard.


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26/04/2022 19:00:00 26/04/2022 20:00:00 America/New_York Porter Square Books: Yelena Lembersky with Weina Dai Randel, 'Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour' <p>Porter Square Books is delighted to welcome local author&nbsp;Yelena Lembersky&nbsp;to discuss her memoir about life in Soviet Russia,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.portersquarebooks.com/book/978164... Porter Square Books: Cambridge, Cambridge, MA 02140 false DD/MM/YYYY