Robert Zimmerman - whose nom de plume is Robert Alexander - is an American author whose works so far have concentrated on fictionalizing significant moments in the history of Russia. Born and raised in Chicago, Zimmerman has travelled to and around Russia extensively and even studied for a time at Leningrad State University.
In his debut novel 'The Kitchen Boy', Zimmerman narrates the story of Leonka, a young boy who worked in the kitchens of the Tsar's palace and witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and the removal of the Romanov family from power (many key figures were killed by the Bolsheviks), yet curiously escape any punishment himself and was let alone by the revolutionaries. Through the eyes of this young boy, we see emotional interactions between members of the Romanov family whilst, outside, forces are preparing to end their reign and lives of splendor.
A gripping work of historical fiction, Zimmerman's 'The Kitchen Boy' has been widely praised for neither being too historical a work of fiction nor attempting to rewrite historical fact. An insightful read for any student of Russian history, this is a thought-provoking novel focused on a period of history that has faded from Western collective memory.