A conversation with acclaimed author Maxim D. Shrayer, who will discuss his memoir, Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards. His remembrances are set against a backdrop of politics, travel, and ethnic conflict on the brink of the Soviet empire’s collapse. He will share the triumphs and humiliations of a Soviet childhood, and the dreams and fears of a Jewish family that never gave up hope for a better life. Growing up the son of Jewish intellectuals in Moscow, Shrayer’s parents applied for and were refused emigration when he was ten, thus becoming “refuseniks” for almost 9 years. Shrayer’s memoir is also a love story in which a young Jew’s love is unrequited, and his heart is forever broken by his homeland.