MY DEAD PARENTS
A young woman uncovers letters that make her reevaluate the story of her immigrant parents' romance and marriage under the long-reaching shadow of the USSR, leading her to the dark truth behind her father's death.
"As I've slowly gotten to know my parents at least a little better, have learned of their struggles, their successes, heartache, and loss, I have finally begun to accept and to love them, maybe not as my parents, not yet, but simply as people."
In the wake of her alcoholic mother's death, Anya Yurchyshyn returned to her large, cluttered childhood home on Boston's Beacon Hill to sort through her parents' belongings. She didn't feel sad, rather she was relieved that her mother's decades-long battle with grueling depression and self-inflicted isolation were over.
Sifting through old boxes and drawers, Anya discovered artifacts of a life, a love affair and of glamorous people that she barely recognized--yet, these people were her parents. Letters, photos of exotic locales; startling documents and passionate letters revealed stark evidence of a hidden past that forced her to reconstruct and reimagine everything she'd ever known about her life and her family. She'd always assumed that her parents never loved one another; that her mother slowly drank herself to death after her father's mysterious death in the Ukraine; that her father was an overbearing man devoid of compassion. How then, to explain the poetic, profound and playful letters her father wrote; ones returned by her mother's deep words of love and humor.
Part literary thriller, part detective story, MY DEAD PARENTS is the account of one woman's relentless quest to solve the tragic and complex mysteries of her past, and in so doing, to come more fully to terms with her life today.
Anya Yurchyshyn graduated with an honors BA from NYU and earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia, where she received a fellowship to teach writing for two years and was then hired as a lecturer. She also worked in the fiction department at Esquire magazine, where she launched The Books Blog and managed and curated the popular Napkin Fiction series and "Last Line" column.
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