Drawing on interviews, prison diaries, court documents and newspapers, Julie Rak, as an Alberta-based English professor, has examined how Doukhobor history can be collectively recorded through individual stories in Negotiated Memory: Doukhobor Autobiographical Discourse (UBC Press, 2004, $85). Its publication coincided--coincidentally--with the arrival of Leo Tolstoy's great-great-grandson Vladimir Ilyrich Tolstoy in Castlegar in April to attend the opening of an exhibit at the Doukhobor Village Museum. This exhibit from Russia features some letters and documents of Sergei Tolstoy, the novelist's eldest son, who accompanied the Doukhobors to Canada aboard the SS Lake Superior. Their emigration from Russia to escape harrassment from state and church authorities was partially funded by the royalties from Tolstoy's final novel Resurrection. Julie Rak has explored how and why the Doukhobors, by and large, rejected the 'western institution of autobiography' as a community oriented group. In particular, she suggests, the more radical Sons of Freedom sect did not construct identities that were dependent on "the Western and liberal-capitalist split between self and life."

[BCBW 2004] "Doukhobors"

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Negotiated Memory: Doukhobor Autobiographical Discourse