2009-11-06 / Community

Local Author Publishes Biography Of Russian Royal

By Mallory Wyman

Anolic's "The Russian Riddle" Anolic's "The Russian Riddle" Everyone has a hobby. And if you're like Rockaway native Tamar Anolic and your hobby is devouring books on the history of the Romanov family, the famous Russian dynasty, you may have noticed one glaring omission. There has been no definitive biography written about Grand Duke Serge of Russia, son of Tsar Alexander II.

Though he is a prominent figure in Romanov history, Serge remained a background character in the several biographies that have been written about his wife, Elizabeth. Puzzled by the varying versions of Serge presented in Elizabeth's biographies, Anolic did what any over-achiever would do; she took matters into her own hands and wrote Serge's biography herself.

The non-fiction work, which she completed during her third year of law school at Brooklyn Law School, is called "The Russian Riddle," and was recently published by Eurohistory. com. Anolic is the epitome of a hometown girl, born in Rockaway to parents who both grew up there as well. "It was like living in a resort," she said of her childhood in Rockaway, spending summers on the beach just like her father did when he was younger. She attended Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before returning to New York for law school. She just recently moved to Washing ton, D.C. to take a position as an attorney with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Anolic always had an interest in writing but developed her skills working her way up from staff writer at the Bryn Mawr college newspaper. Once she graduated, she continued by freelancing to publications including "News - day" and "Financial History," a publication run by the Museum of American Finance. "I wanted to continue doing the writing even if it was just a hobby," she said. Her freelancing career continued into her first year of law school. It was during her second year of law school that Anolic ran into the mystery of the missing biography. "The Roma novs had been something of a fascination for me for quite a few years," she said. So once she read about Serge in his wife's biographies, she set out to find his story. "He was really fascinating to me … He's such a character," she said. Finding that no biography existed, she began writing. Once she finished, finding a publisher interested in the work of an avid fan attempting to fill in some blanks, proved difficult. By looking at the publishers of her own collection of Romanov histories, she pinpointed those most likely to be interested in a biography of Serge and began sending out her manuscript. After going through 20 publishers, "The Russian Riddle" finally found a home.

According to Anolic, the most important things for aspiring au thors are patience and practice. She believes that writing on a variety of subjects, from her journalism experience to her legal writings, has helped to develop her skills. But the hardest part is just sticking with it. "I don't always get as much done … as I would like," she said. She added that authors must "have the confidence that you will finish it at some point." Good advice from a lawyer by day who's working on her second novel by night, about Alexi, son of Nicholas II and last heir to the throne before the Russian Revolu tion.

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