Rashel Mironovna Khin hosted salons that made her the toast of Imperial Russia and, with the help of the novelist Ivan Turgenev, became a successful writer in her own right. Khin attended a girl’s gymnasium in Moscow before marrying in 1881 and beginning her studies in history and literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. It was here that she began hosting salons and studying under Turgenev, who died in 1883. Khin translated George Sand and Emile Zola into Russian and wrote numerous short stories and novellas for Russian journals as well as plays which were performed at Moscow’s Malyi Theater. Her work focused on themes of genteel, assimilated Jews who were torn between their longing for status and their responsibilities to their strange, devout, impoverished co-religionists. Unhappy in her marriage but unable to secure a divorce, Khin converted to Catholicism to dissolve the union, and later married Osip Borisovich Goldovski, a Jewish lawyer who had to convert as well to marry her. She fled Russia for France after the 1905 Revolution, but returned in 1914 with dreams of helping create a new, more just nation. Despite these hopes, she quickly became overwhelmed by the demands of the new regime and abandoned her writing altogether.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Rashel Mironovna Khin." (Viewed on September 17, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/khin-rashel>.