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MiroLand 20
Philipovna
Daughter of Sorrow
1st edition
By (author): Valentina Gal
9781771833691 Paperback, Trade English BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / General May 01, 2019
$25.00 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 0.67 in 285 pages Guernica Editions MiroLand
Philipovna: The Daughter of Sorrow is a creative non-fiction based on my mother's surviving the holodomor [the Ukrainian starvation] in the early 1930's. It is the story of an orphan who goes to live with her aunt in a rural village in the Ukrainian countryside. The aunt swears on her dead sister's Bible that Vera Philipovna, the daughter of a cobbler and seamstress from a small village in Chercassy, Ukraine will survive no matter what might befall the family. No one foresees the horrors that they will have to face between the fall of 1930 and the spring of 1933. In the end, out of a healthy extended family, only Philipovna, a cousin and the aunt survive. The acts of real savagery that are perpetrated on the village are unflinchingly narrated by a pre-pubescent girl, who also gives us a good grasp of the beauty and richness of the Ukrainian culture with its superstitions, customs and celebrations.

Valentina Gal is the blind daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who settled in Hamilton Ontario after WWII. While at McMaster University, she discovered that her city was diverse and peopled by colourful characters. Her writing and storytelling explore both her mother?s tragic history and her family?s adventures in becoming first generation Canadians.

Gal has written a haunting, gut-wrenching account of her mother's life in Stalin's Ukraine. In carefully-measured prose, she recreates the daily lives of those who suffered -- and endured. -- James King, Professor at McMaster University.

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