This was a spare bedroom and now it’s my work office. I share it only with my cat (not pictured—he is outside, fighting for the block dominance). I have a good view of the back yard, singing birds, copulating squirrels and pooping deer.

Mark Budman is the publisher of a flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try was published by Counterpoint in 2008. His website is Writing Spaces is a series dedicated to the desks, cafes, libraries and retreats where Fictionaut writers work, providing a window to the physical places where some of the stories on the site originated.

  1. Svetlana Grobman

    Dear Mark,

    My name is Svetlana Grobman. I am a librarian in a Midwestern college town as well as an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. I just finished reading your book, and I want to tell you how much I enjoined it. I myself grew up in Moscow; so many things you mentioned in your book are very recognizable to me. I’m also almost the same age as you are, although my American experiences are somewhat different. For one thing, I left Russia in 1990, at the age of 39. Also, I didn’t speak English at that time, and I had to learn it in the Midwest the hard way. That aside, there is another thing that you and I have in common. I write. (And you know how hard it is to write in the second language!) So far, my successes have been modest – I’ve published several essays and a couple of articles. At this time, I’m writing a book about my childhood in the Soviet Union, and this made your book especially interesting to me. I’ve read quite a few books written by the children of immigrants, but not their parents. Your book is the first, I’ve come across, that represents my generation and our experiences.

    Thank you for writing it,
    Svetlana Grobman

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