Stephanie Williams Author
Olga's Story, Stephanie Williams


Olga's Story, book cover



Olga's Story


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Olga's Story, book covers

July 1900: Far away from anywhere,in a remote village in southern Siberia, Olga Yunter was born - just in time to be seventeen at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution.

This is the true story of her fight for life and freedom, in a strange and remote part of the world.


Praise for Olga's Story

‘As good as Dr Zhivago. One of the treats of terrific literature is how it opens the doors to worlds we knew nothing about. Williams bring[s] to vibrant life the world of the middle- and upper-class Russians in Siberian towns’ Jonathan Mirsky, Spectator

‘Vivid and enthralling, brilliant and entrancing, well written and passionately researched. Reads like a novel’ Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times

‘A heartbreaking story of disaster and survival through some of the worst conflicts and upheavals of our benighted age. Moving and brilliant’ Sunday Telegraph

'In recreating Olga's Story, Stephanie Williams has managed to do something I would have thought impossible: she has given us a new vantage point from which to view the turbulent and often hellish years of the first half of the twentieth century. Born in 1900 to a loving and prosperous family in Siberia, Olga saw her world and family shredded in the murderous fighting between the Reds and the White Russians that followed the Bolshevik revolution. She survived by moving first to Vladivostok, and thence to Tianjin, in northern China, and to Shanghai. After the Japanese had wiped out those Chinese havens, she found a measure of peace first in western Canada and finally at Oxford. This is a beautifully written and subtly crafted book. Olga's Story leaves one awestruck at how much human beings can witness and experience, without losing their bearings altogether." Jonathan Spence, Yale University, author of The Death of Woman Wang and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci.

‘A gripping and authentic narrative of a life that was at once ordinary and remarkable’ The Times Literary Supplement

BBC RADIO 4, Book of the Week, July 2005

Olga's Story has been sold in twelve countries.


Read more

Siberia – as Olga knew it