Among the Living and the Dead

Among the Living and the Dead

A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe

Book - 2017
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WW Norton
“It’s long been assumed of the region where my grandmother was born…that at some point each year the dead will come home,” Inara Verzemnieks writes in this exquisite story of war, exile, and reconnection. Her grandmother’s stories recalled one true home: the family farm left behind in Latvia, where, during WWII, her grandmother Livija and her grandmother’s sister, Ausma, were separated. They would not see each other again for more than 50 years. Raised by her grandparents in Washington State, Inara grew up among expatriates, scattering smuggled Latvian sand over the coffins of the dead, singing folk songs about a land she had never visited.When Inara discovers the scarf Livija wore when she left home, in a box of her grandmother’s belongings, this tangible remnant of the past points the way back to the remote village where her family broke apart. There it is said the suspend their exile once a year for a pilgrimage through forests and fields to the homes they left behind. Coming to know Ausma and the trauma of her exile to Siberia under Stalin, Inara pieces together Livija’s survival through years as a refugee. Weaving these two parts of the family story together in spellbinding, lyrical prose, she gives us a profound and cathartic account of loss, survival, resilience, and love.
“Extraordinarily tender and finely wrought.” — Eliza Griswold, author of The Tenth Parallel

Baker & Taylor
Journeying back to the remote Latvian village where her family broke apart, the author comes to know her grandmother's sister, Ausma, and the trauma of her exile to Siberia under Stalin, while reconstructing her grandmother Livija's survival through her years as a refugee.

Book News
In this descriptive narrative for general readers, award-winning writer Inara Verzemnieks travels to Eastern Europe to discover her family history. In her search for her grandmother Livija’s roots, she finds her grandmother’s sister, who gives more insight on why and how Livija left the family farm in Latvia during the WWII era as the Russians gained control of the region, and about Livija’s life as a refugee. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Baker
& Taylor

"A haunting, luminous reckoning with exile and loss. Raised by her Latvian grandparents in Washington State, Inara Verzemnieks grew up among expatriates, scattering smuggled Latvian sand over the coffins of the dead, singing folk songs with other children about a land none of them had visited. Her grandmother's stories re-created in vivid, nostalgic detail the family farm she'd left behind in a borderland violently contested during the Second World War. In the fighting, her grandmother Livija and her grandmother's sister, Ausma, were separated and would not see each other again for more than fifty years. Journeying back to the remote village where her family broke apart, Inara comes to know Ausma and the trauma of her exile to Siberia under Stalin, whilereconstructing Livija's survival through her years as a refugee. In bringing together these two sides of the family story, Inara honors both sisters in a deeply cathartic and moving account of loss, survival, resilience, and love."--Provided by publisher.
Journeying back to the remote Latvian village where her family broke apart, the author comes to know her grandmother's sister, Ausma, and the trauma of her exile to Siberia under Stalin, while reconstructing her grandmother Livija’s survival through her years as a refugee.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393245110
Branch Call Number: 940.53145 V629a 2017
Characteristics: 282 pages ; 22 cm

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Looks intriguing, there is so much history and so many family stories.


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