Books

From Russia to Love: The Life and Music of Viktoria Mullova

The great violinist Viktoria Mullova’s story is one of striking contrasts and huge challenges. As a young musician she was a bright star in the Soviet musical firmament, but she stunned the world when she escaped the KGB and fled to the West, leaving behind her family, friends and all she knew. And in her flight from Finland, Viktoria also abandoned on her hotel bed the priceless Stradivarius she’d played during her triumph at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. From Russia to Love recounts the journey of a remarkable woman. Armed only with her violin bow and her exceptional talent, Viktoria went on to conquer the West. As her new life unfolded, first in America and then in Europe, Viktoria met fellow exiles Nureyev and Rostropovich, fell in love with conductor Claudio Abbado and learned to throw off the shackles of her Russian training. Granted unparalleled access to her subject, Eva Maria Chapman paints an intimate, truthful and sensitive portrait of a unique artist. Buy on Amazon

 

Sasha & Olga

Sasha & Olga is a gripping saga of betrayal, love, suffering and redemption. It is the book Eva Chapman has written, to honour her parents Sasha and Olga, whose lives were incubated in the crucible of suffering and madness, that gripped twentieth century Eastern Europe.

Olga escapes from Communist Czechoslovakia with baby Eva in tow. She is not only escaping from tyranny but also from Eva’s father’s family who want to snatch the baby back. Mother and child embark on a ship to Australia as refugees. She meets Sasha on board who falls in love with Olga and her child. Even though he marries Olga he cannot help her overcome her past trauma. Eva bears the brunt of Olga’s extreme and violent mood swings. Olga suffers severe post natal depression after the birth of Valentina . The sudden and unexpected birth of Alexandra several years later tips Olga into psychosis. She believes the new baby to be an alien. She spends the rest of her life incarcerated in a mental hospital. Eva falls out spectacularly with Sasha and escapes to Europe and leaves her family behind.

The new millennium finds Sasha dying of cancer in Adelaide. He is saddened by the loss of his wife Olga to schizophrenia, embittered by the thirty-three-year rift with his step-daughter Eva and heart-broken by the descent of his youngest daughter into the same affliction that claimed his wife. In 1999, Eva, the ostracised daughter sets out to heal the family. This mission takes her on several journeys to Eastern Europe to search for roots, to Australia to face Sasha, and to a past which shocks and enlightens in equal measure. The results far exceed expectations and take many surprising turns. Sasha & Olga, a combination of memoir, narrative history and spiritual journey, is the outcome. Eva feels privileged to bring this story of her family to the general public. Buy on Amazon

Butterflies & Demons’ This is the juxtaposition of the treatment of the Adelaide Aborigines at the hands of the British Empire in the 1840s and the treatment of Eastern European refugees (me being one of them) in the 1950s. In this book I confront my own racism and let the gentleness of the Aboriginal culture , heal me. Still seeking a publisher

Sexy at 70    The story of the last 13 years and how I became sexy at 70.  I have been inspired by Helen Walmsley-Johnson’s book, ‘The Invisible Woman: Taking on the Vintage Years’. I especially like her assertion,‘That women in their sixth and seventh decades should stick their noses over the parapet….  pirouette out to show the next generation that it’s all going to be just fine. And maybe take a selfie or two while we’re at it.’I am just entering my 8th decade and this book is precisely doing that.   This is the story of how I arrived here, especially when at the age of 58 I was heading for sexless cronedom. A series of circumstances changed this dramatically, and my husband and I discovered parties and raving. After being Enlightenment teachers, academics, grandparents and successful business people, this was a shocking and radical shift of gear.

I continued my life-long spiritual search, one of the aims of which was to come to a profound acceptance of myself, especially my flirtatious side.    Not easy when you have the beginnings of a turkey neck and drawing an old age pension. I accepted this part of myself which was hankering to come out and became a shameless (and successful) flirt in my sixties. This had a fortunate side effect- I fell more madly in love with my husband of 38 years. He LOVES what I am. We have now become the ideal hero and heroine in each other’s movie. As a result I am entering my 70s, fulfilled and content.   This is a coming of age book- ‘coming of old age’ in fact, an important life stage which is usually relegated to the unglamorous and unimportant, and easily lost in the shuffling of slippers and misplacement of pesky reading glasses.​ In process of seeking a punlisher