Searching for a Place to Call Home
On Valentine's Day 2019 I have released my first novel. It's a mix of my very popular blogs about the connections between a painting practice and our everyday lives, and a semi-fictional biographical account that demonstrates the power of art.
I invite you to immerse yourself in this heartfelt and very authentically written account, and join the many thrilled readers who wrote raving reviews about this debut. Read 'Searching for a Place to Call Home'
"This is an excruciatingly honest and open book about many transitions, not necessarily finished: from one country to another, from young girl to successful woman, from daughter to parent and from novice to artist. There are many stages in each of these transitions and the road taken by protagonist is far from being straight and uncomplicated. Told in unflinchingly sincere way without any hint of gloss or tinsel. At the end one may ask, isn't real artist always uprooted, at least on the inside?"
"This novel is quite a treat! Not only is it thoughtful - it draws in the reader, making us examine our own lives. As an extra bonus, Stelin, who's an artist, draws parallels between everything happening in the main character's life with various aspects of art. It is also an immigrant story, unraveling for the reader the transformation of an awkward girl in an unfamiliar surrounding into a confident and accomplished artists, who still clearly has not lost her ability to examine herself. I particularly enjoyed the ambiguity in Stelin's characters, demonstrating how our relationships with those closest to us evolve over time. Definitely recommend!"
"An honestly written story about the turns life can take before one finds a true path of belonging. In her tale the author carefully laces together subjects of the complex relationship between mother and daughter, the hurdles of immigrant life with the demanding masquerade required by the new environment, of finding balance between being a woman, a mother, and an artist. It is this debutant's sincerity that makes this story unfeigned. I enjoyed the reading and I enjoyed the questions that were raised in the book."
"This semi-fictional memoir offers a rich account of the winding, fascinating, continuing life of a woman who while a teen is uprooted, kicking and screaming, from her Russian home and dropped into the ethnic chaos of a 1990s northern New Jersey town. We follow Isabella from there to Europe and back several times over a decade or more, to Yale for her advanced fine arts education, then to Boston for her roller coaster emotional and professional adventures, ending on an unresolved but hopeful note as in her late 30s she faces life determined to strike a workable, if evolving, balance between the many lives she lives - as a wife, mother, artist and teacher - with a rich and only partly-revealed inner life that constantly challenges, but in the end respects, the many boundaries life imposes. An engaging story of self-discovery."