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Eva Stachniak


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Posted by on Jan 4, 2017

History Author Show

           My conversation with Dean Karayanis on The Chosen Maiden.

The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers interview:

           Eva Stachniak on The Chosen Maiden   

Publishers Weeklystar review

Stachniak brilliantly brings the story of Bronia, the lesser-known Nijinsky, to life. She has an excellent command of the period and the dance world, and an ability to draw characters who will enrapture the reader.

The Toronto Star:

…delightful …

…  a tale of intrigue, love, betrayal and redemption set in the realm of art and artists, exploring the line between dedication and obsession, creation and madness.

… Stachniak weaves together beautifully the myriad moments that bring this fascinating family and period to life.

Library Journal:

… exquisite fictionalized memoir.

… Drawing on her thorough research into Bronia’s archives, the author has teased out revealing insights into the art of the dance, and she writes skillfully about the emotional truths that arose from Bronia’s ambitions, family relations, and deep anxieties. Dance fans will welcome this graceful and entrancing foray into the recent past.

Quill and Quire:

Many works of fiction take as their inspiration true events and persons of historical significance, but few do so as lovingly and imaginatively as Eva Stachniak’s fifth novel


a remarkable work of historical fiction

The Chosen Maiden is both a tribute to a female artist who remained true to her vision despite numerous obstacles, and to the woman behind her who made it possible. MORE

The Globe and Mail

Eva Stachniak: ‘We live in a country that embodies the essence of the 21st century’

The Chosen Maiden was born out of my fascination with Ballets Russes, a Russian dance company which, in the summer of 1909, took Paris by storm, and fundamentally transformed Western notions of modern art. I wrote it because, after over 30 years in Canada, I’m still exploring the encounters between East and West, their exhilarating possibilities and illuminating setbacks.. MORE

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Empress of the Night–Review Quotes

Empress of the Night–Review Quotes

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014

 …ambitious…structurally complex and psychologically intense…. Empress of the Night aims for Hilary Mantel. Stachniak’s writing is distinct, however, especially in vivid description of sensory details: perfume, sweat and the click of heels on polished floorboards.—Quill & Quire


…unfailing attention to detail, whether describing the pain of childbirth or the manner of a courtier’s behaviour and appearance. –National Post


The beauty of this historical novel lies in Stachniak’s wonderfully vivid and evocative prose. She excels at creating a strong sense of time and place, rich with sensory details. –Winnipeg Free Press 


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William Wadsworth reviews “The Winter Palace”

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013

William Wadsworth

The Winter Palace
by Eva Stachniak

Toronto-based historical novelist Eva Stachniak first carved a niche in the study of deceit in 2000, with Necessary Lies, an award-winning story of marital betrayal in modern Poland.

In The Winter Palace, Polish-born Stachniak brings out the laudanum and belladonna, the smoke, mirrors and creaking bedsteads for another sassy immigrant success story, set in the 18th-century Russian court.

Now No2 on the Globe & Mail’s fiction hardback list, The Winter Palace is billed as ‘A Novel of Catherine the Great’, but it’s really a tale of how two bright immigrant teenagers team up for survival in snake-pit salons over the next 20 years. Stachniak quickly establishes her principal characters with Conradian clarity, and the pages of The Winter Palace fly by as its central character, Barbara, leaves her native Poland for St Petersburg, where her bookbinder father cultivates her literacy and repairs the libraries of Russia’s nobility.

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“The Winter Palace” — selected reviews

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012

The Globe and Mail (January 2012):  Jane Smiley

It isn’t incidental that award-winning Toronto novelist Eva Stachniak asks us to ponder the Winter Palace, in St. Petersburg, Russia, before she asks us to ponder Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, and her predecessor, Elizabeth.

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