The author in a “Snow Maiden” costume at her grandfather’s house for New Year’s, Novorossiysk, Russia, 1980
Read More: The New York Review of Books
"Without mayonnaise, there could be no New Year in the Soviet Union. You could never just buy mayonnaise. You could only get it, sometimes in a favor exchange, sometimes at a special distribution center for important people, like party members or employees of the commerce sphere, most of whom were party members also, so it was one and the same thing. Some trade union members could access mayonnaise, too, though I never figured out which ones; my mother’s union couldn't."