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Inara Verzemnieks

2 Podcast Episodes

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Inara Verzemnieks

The Seattle Public Library - Author Readings and Library Events

"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 they 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.Inara Verzemnieks teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Iowa. She has won a Pushcart Prize and a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

1hr

20 Aug 2019

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Little Atoms 516 - Inara Verzemnieks & Among the Living and the Dead

Little Atoms

Inara Verzemnieks teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Iowa. She has won a Pushcart Prize and a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa. She is the author of Among The Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

35mins

18 Jun 2018

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