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Roman Kaplan

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Date of Birth: 12/23/1937

Age: 78

Place of birth: Leningrad

Citizenship: United States

owner of the restaurant "Russian Samovar" in New York City

Roman Arkadievich Kaplan was born in 1937 in Leningrad (Leningrad), in a musical family. And his mother, a native of Rostov-on-Don (Rostov-on-Don), and his father, who came to Leningrad from the village near Kiev (Kiev), were professional musicians. In Roman has a twin brother Anatoly, who in the future became a geologist. When the Great Patriotic War, the children with the mother remained in Leningrad and fell into a blockade. The novel was just a baby, but he survived the bitter childhood memories - the fierce cold of winter, a terrible famine. This sense of wild hunger he will remember for a lifetime. They lived in one room to keep warm burned all his books and furniture, and even becoming a prosperous older man, he had difficulty talking about it. Wonder what all three of them managed to survive.

When the blockade was removed, the mother with the children left in Vyshniy Volochek (Vyshny Volochyok) in the Tver region (Tver Oblast), where they spent several Mesyatsev slightly came to their senses. Kaplan hardly remember their school years or classmates or teachers, although the first eight years studied brilliantly. A special joy for him were the humanities, and that`s all that was associated with mathematics and remained alien. The books he read were much more interesting classroom. He rescued the brother, whose novel in the last two years is simply copied as they sat side by side.

Kaplan loved poetry very early on, and as soon as I learned to read, read new poems every day. Another of his interests, which he retained all his life, began to foreign languages. By the study of foreign languages ??led him to the same poetry: reading a foreign poet, Kaplan wondered - how it sounds in the original? So he took the book, read it, wrote out unfamiliar words in a notebook sitting with dictionaries, then took up the grammar. Not surprisingly, after-school Roman Kaplan entered the Leningrad Institute of Foreign Languages, in absentia disaccustomed at the Academy of Fine Arts in the art, and then worked as a guide at the Hermitage (Hermitage Museum). After finishing graduate school at Moscow inyaz, he stayed there to teach and mastered the profession of interpreters. He speaks English, German and French, good knows Polish and Hebrew and is still studying Latin.

In 1972, together with his brother and parents, Roman went to Israel after the Union started a real persecution of the Jews. He lived there for several years, and then, albeit with great difficulty, he moved to the United States. At the same time of the Soviet Union (USSR) had left a group of his friends and acquaintances, among whom, by the way, was a great friend of Roman, Joseph Brodsky (Joseph Brodsky), poet and essayist, future Nobel laureate. In Israel, it was very hard, hard work, to the young man found himself in a tiny provincial town, where no one needed his English or Russian language, nor, especially, a dissertation on American literature. At the time to leave Israel (and Roman has always wanted to move to the United States) was incredibly difficult - time after time he refused, until the Israeli Russian-language magazine `Time and my` not publish his story. After that, already as a writer, at the insistence of the editor, Roman was able to leave the country and went overseas.

In New York, he had to start all over again. The first thing a person with two higher educations janitor found a place, and then settled in to work in the art gallery. They had guests at home every day, and one day his wife Lara Kaplan, which had to wash the mountain of dishes, told her husband that if that so like to invite guests, let them open a restaurant. And so he did. In 1986, together with the Roman Baryshnikov and Brodsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov) opened restaurant `Russian samovar`.

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