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The dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and the growing tension in Eastern Europe ruptured into World War II in 1939, unleashing a succession of disasters that would redefine the borders, ideologies and cultures of this region for years to come.
Against this backdrop Jenny Williams tells us a story of survival that is vivid, almost cinematic - a child's experience of war, through teenage years and the early days of Soviet control in Czechoslovakia; of the oppression of the Hungarian language and culture, and of socialist youth rallies; to optimism, disillusion and fear of The Prague Spring, Dubcek's reforms and the Soviet invasion of 1968, which led to her emigration to Australia.
Yenni reveals a blueprint for happiness that sustains the author despite decades of disappointment and oppression. She does this without a hint of sentimentality, like a marvellous conversation that goes long into the night combining the vision and sensibilities of a child with the intelligence, wit and compassion of an adult - human in a way that we fear might become precarious.
About the Author
Jenny Williams was born in 1936 in Kosice, in what is now the Slovak Republic. She and her family escaped to Vienna in 1969, before immigrating to Tasmania. She is married with two adult children and two grandchildren and now lives with her family in Hobart. She began writing in 1990. This is her first book.
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Comments about Yenni:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was a mixture of her early life and the politics of living in Czechoslovakia under Russian rule and their final escape to Australia. She manages to blend the two, her early life, her marriage and the birth of her two children with the changing fortunes of daily life in that part of the world.
Published: 1st April 2002
Dimensions (cm): 23.000 x 15.300