Becoming Dostoyevsky in St. Petersburg, Russia

By Veronica Hackathal

During winter, dawn doesn’t break over St. Petersburg. No, dawn sneaks up on the unwary night, which fades to a lighter shade of lead.  There is no clock in my budget hotel room.  I have left my watch back in NYC.  I awake disoriented, and look out the window for a clue from the sky. It is silent and aloof.  I phone the reception, and ask the time in fumbling Russian.  The reply comes in heavily accented English, tyen Ayya Emmme (ten AM).  I look at the sky again.  It could as well be six AM.  Later, as I leave the hotel, the receptionist beams, we have sun for you tod...

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