Addicted to romance? Did Boris Pasternak’s Russian classic Doctor Zhivago or the adapted Oscar-winning film rock your world? Actors Julie Christie and Omar Sharif in their sable hats and over-sized military coats immortalised love in the snow. The show isn’t over.
Lara: The Untold Love Story That Inspired Doctor Zhivago by Anna Pasternak gives the classic tale a whole new spin. Anna knows about doomed love. She exposed Princess Diana’s love affair with James Hewitt in Princess in Love. She also penned a semi-autobiographical weekly column in the Daily Mail called Daisy Dooley Does Divorce while going through a tumultuous one herself.
But what makes Anna the ideal person to tell the true love story behind Doctor Zhivago is that Nobel Laureate Boris Pasternak is her great uncle. His long-standing, tragic romance with Olga Ivinskaya – who was imprisoned twice in Siberian labour camps for her connection to Boris – inspired one of the greatest literary love affairs of the 20th Century.
I asked the outspoken, thoughtful and charming Anna
about her new book, the art of balancing historical fact with passionate love story, what unconditional love really means and how to write your first biography. Read my interview here. It appeared in UK writer’s group 26’s August newsletter, which I help edit.