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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 | First edition
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"'It's long been assumed of this region, where my grandmother was born, ...that at some point each year the dead will come home,' Inara Verzemnieks writes in this heartrending story of war, exile, and reconnection. Her grandmother's stories recalled one true home: the family farm left behind in Latvia during the Second World War. There, her grandmother Livija and her great-aunt, Ausma, were separated. Livija fled the fighting to become a refugee; Ausma was exiled to Siberia under Stalin: the sisters would not see each other again for more than fifty 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. In a box of her grandmother's belongings, Inara discovers the scarf Livija wore when she left home. This tangible remnant of the past points the way back to the remote village where her family broke apart. In Latvia, Inara comes to know Ausma, her family, their land and its stories, and there pieces together Livija's survival through years as a refugee. Weaving together these two parts of the family story in spellbinding, lyrical prose, Verzemnieks gives us a profound and cathartic account of love, loss, and survival."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393245110
039324511X
Branch Call Number: 305.89193 V629A 2017
Characteristics: 282 pages ; 22 cm

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Featured Blogs and Events

Local author Inara Verzemnicks wows us at Kobetich

Kobetich Branch of Tacoma Public Library would like to thank author Inara Verzemnieks for her visit on Saturday, November 4, 2017. While she teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Iowa, she wanted to share her story with the library and community in which she grew up. What a privilege it was to have her share her experiences in the researching process and to hear her read an excerpt… (more)

Author Visit with Inara Verzemnieks

Join local author Inara Verzemnieks on Saturday, November 4th, 10:30 am – 11:30 am, as she talks about her new book. “Among the Living and the Dead”.  Verzemnieks was raised in Tacoma yet steeped in stories of her grandmother’s life in early 20th century Latvia.  Her book is part memoir, part history and a beautifully written story of one family’s journey for reconciliation and identity.    (more)


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