Memoir Chronicles Life During World Wars and Russian Revolution

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Russian aristocrat’s great niece finds aunt’s private journals; highlights relative’s journey from nobility to an émigré

Anne Frank’s diary has become a staple in history because it transports readers to a darker and more uncertain time. Much like the famous Frank journals, another set of personal essays deliver an extraordinary look into the life of a young woman caught in the crossfires of a world at war.

Countess Olga “Lala” Hendrikoff kept diaries chronicling her life through some of the turbulent times in modern history. Her personal writings have been collected and translated by her great niece, Sue Carscallen, to form “A Countess in Limbo: Diaries in War and Revolution.”

“A Countess in Limbo,” showcases Hendrikoff’s transformation from a privileged woman of society to a stateless émigré. Her unbreakable will, combined with razor-sharp wit, provide a fascinating voice to narrate the day-to-day life of those living through World War I, World War II and the Russian Revolution.

“People often feel very acquainted with the World Wars because of how extensively they are studied,” Carscallen said. “In reality, the history books do not capture the fear and desperation people in that era experienced. I share my great aunt’s diaries to show how the everyday person carried on and mustered hope in the face of an uncertain future.”

Hendrikoff’s journals add a new layer of insight and context into life during wartime. For more information please visit,

“A Countess in Limbo: Diaries in War and Revolution”
By Olga Hendrikoff
ISBN: 9781480835368 (hardcover), 9781480835375 (softcover), 9781480835382 (e-book)
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Archway Publishing

About the author
Olga Hendrikoff was born in 1892 in Voronezh, Russia, and attended the famous Smolny Institute. In 1914, she married Count Peter Hendrikoff just as World War I began. In the ensuing years, Hendrikoff lived in Constantinople, Rome, Paris, and Philadelphia. She spent her last 20 years in Calgary. She died in 1987.

Sue Carscallen spent 20 years with Olga Hendrikoff, before her great aunt’s passing in 1987. Carscallen stumbled upon Hendrikoff’s diaries hidden in a trunk at her great aunt’s Calgary home. Over time she unraveled the mysteries hidden in the manuscripts, traveling to France and Russia to supplement her research into Hendrikoff’s life. Today, Carscallen resides in Calgary.

Review Copies & Interview Requests:
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Satara Williams
480-998-2600 x 586

General Inquiries:
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Jacquelyn Brazzale
480-998-2600 x 569

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