“The Customs inspector handed back my passport and made a slow, deliberate stroke with his forefinger along the top of my hand. I took my bag and smiled out of relief from passing the inspection. As I walked through the gate, I felt his stare on my heavily padded behind swinging from side to side like a cushion-covered pendulum. After going through some unexpected turbulence, the plane landed safely in New York City on September 30, 1991. That was when my strange new life began.”

Stalina

Photo by Billy Tompkins

Emily Rubin

"A marvelous, captivating debut novel."
~Russian Life Magazine

Emily Rubin's debut novel 'Stalina' was published in January 2011.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Stalina flees St. Petersburg in search of a better life in America. A trained chemist in Russia, but disillusioned by her prospects in the US, she becomes a maid at The Liberty, a “short-stay” motel on the outskirts of Hartford. Able to envision beauty and profit even here, Stalina convinces her boss to let her transform the motel into a fantasy destination. Business skyrockets and puts the American dream within her sights. Obsessed with avenging her family while also longing for a new life, Stalina is about a woman whose imagination — and force of personality — will let her stop at nothing.

Rubin’s fiction has been published in the Red Rock Review, Confrontations, and HAPPY. She is a past nominee for the Pushcart Prize, was the first recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writers Award, and a finalist in the International Book Awards. In 2005, she began producing Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose, a reading series that takes place in laundromats around the United States. She divides her time between New York City and Columbia County, New York with her husband, Leslie, and their dog, Sebastian. She is at work on another novel.