Upheaval 2nd Edition

The 2nd Edition of Upheaval, a memoir, is finally complete, now ready to pitch

As some of you might know, or remember, I have been working on updating my grandmother’s memoir Upheaval to include explanatory notes and her diary from 1919. Upheaval describes my grandmother, Olga Woronoff’s life as a young aristocrat in Imperial Russia and details the impact of the Russian Revolution and subsequent Civil War on her and her naval officer husband, Paul Woronoff, my grandfather. I realised that her memoir, although poignantly written, would leave many people wondering about some of the details. So I decided to produce a 2nd edition which would answer most of the questions that readers might have.

Late last year I completed this challenging but worthwhile piece of work. With the help of friends, I researched many of the people, places and events my grandmother mentioned in her book, which was originally published in 1932. I added footnotes to explain who the people were, where the places were located and if my grandmother remembered things accurately or not. Some of my research was accomplished by sifting through documents or letters already in my possession and some by searching through various websites. I discovered so much new information!

I added in my grandmother’s diary as an Appendix to the manuscript. 1919 was the last full year my grandparents lived in Russia and it was chaotic, brutal and emotional as the country was torn by Civil War. My grandmother’s diary entries describe their attempts to continue a “normal” life against the backdrop of war.

I have been lucky to have been granted permission by the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) to include the correspondence between my grandmother and the Grand Duchesses. I have chose to limit these entries (also in an Appendix) to the correspondence between my grandmother and the Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana. It is moving to read their letters and notes, often on such ordinary happenings.

I am also very grateful to Helen Azar who wrote a delightful Foreword to this edition, with intimate details of the feelings Grand Duchess had for my grandfather. Helen is an expert on the Romanovs and has translated the diaries of the Grand Duchesses as well as writing other works on the Imperial Family, and maintaining websites and a YouTube channel with information about them.

I had planned to self-publish, however I have been encouraged to first attempt to find either an agent or a publisher for this manuscript. So that is now the plan. I have a list and have created a spreadsheet of potential places to send my pitch. If I have no success, there is still the opportunity to self-publish later. I will keep you posted!

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Denise Duvall

    I can’t wait. I would love to have a copy. I read Upheaval on one of the archive book sites. Good luck with finding a publisher.

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      Thank you Denise! Fingers crossed someone wants to publish it!

      1. Kirsten

        Ich bin wirklich sehr beeindruckt von Deiner Suche nach den biografischen Zusammenhängen
        Deiner mütterlichen Familie.

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          Vielen Dank Kirsten!

  2. Elise McCune

    I am sure it is worthy of publication!

    I look forward to purchasing a copy when it
    is in the bookshops.

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      Thank you Elise! Fingers crossed!

  3. Jim Renes

    Congratulations on reaching your goal. You’re an inspiration by having such ambitious dreams, then pursuing the work to achieve them. You deserve the spotlight to celebrate the moment. Wishing you further personal successes throughout your future endeavors. I look forward to a future publication.

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      Thank you Jim! Fingers crossed someone wants to publish it!

  4. Geneviève

    Dear Alex,
    The year 2023 is off to a good start ! I am happy to learn that you have been able to finalize the long work of updating the memoirs of your grandmother, Olga WORONOFF.
    I congratulate you on this and I hope that you find a publisher soon. It cannot be otherwise : Everyone who has read UPHEAVAL is looking forward to this new and expanded edition, and perhaps one day we will have a french translation, who knows ? I would be delighted !
    Good luck !

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      Thank you Genevieve! Fingers crossed I find a publisher. I would love it to be translated into French!

  5. Gregg G.

    Alex, can’t believe a website like this about your grandmother’s book “Upheaval” exists – fantastic!
    I first heard about Ms Olga Woronoff through the talks & podcasts of the lovely Marilyn Swezey, an American Orthodox Christian historian at one of the Russian Orthodox churches in Washington DC.
    Apparently your grandmother had taught Ms Swezey the Russian language at Manhattanville College back in the day and inspired her on the Orthodox Christian life.
    I’ve always been intrigued by the Russian emigration after the Bolshevik revolution and have always loved and been inspired by the Russian royal family…. Have wanted to find “Upheaval” for a while now but it’s out of print.
    Very thankful to hear that you’re doing a second edition!
    May God keep you and your family!

    1. Avatar photo

      Thank you Gregg – and thanks for reading my website. I will keep everyone posted as to finding an agent / publisher for Upheaval.

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