Ancient Furies: A Young Girl's Struggles in the Crossfire of World War II

Ancient Furies: A Young Girl's Struggles in the Crossfire of World War II

by Anastasia V. Saporito, Donald L. Saporito
     
 

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Wealth and family privilege are no match for the brutal forward march of two armies intent on eliminating each other. As a teenager, Anastasia Saporito discovered that truth as she and her family found themselves exiled, vulnerable, and no longer able to call on their social standing and accumulated riches as the Soviet and German armies converged during

Overview


Wealth and family privilege are no match for the brutal forward march of two armies intent on eliminating each other. As a teenager, Anastasia Saporito discovered that truth as she and her family found themselves exiled, vulnerable, and no longer able to call on their social standing and accumulated riches as the Soviet and German armies converged during World War II.
 
Saporito recounts in vivid detail the difficulties of her childhood as the daughter of White Russian aristocrats forced to flee their native Russia for refuge in Yugoslavia. In Ancient Furies Saporito skillfully depicts her family, her own struggles as a girl coming of age in war-torn central Europe, and the devastation incurred as a result of Nazi actions toward civilian populations of occupied countries. Personal recollections form the basis of this memoir, but the trials and tribulations faced by this young woman shed light on the often-hidden experiences of the once-wealthy elite of central and eastern Europe as the Nazi war machine tore much of that region asunder. Through the words of her teenage self, Saporito brings a different civilian experience of World War II into the open.
 
 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A beautifully written memoir with a spellbinding immediacy."Kirkus

Ancient Furies is an utterly fascinating account of the plight of White Russians during World War II told by a new and riveting witness. In gorgeous language, through the eyes of an exceptionally gifted girl, the reader learns what it was to grow up in privilege in Russia and Yugoslavia, to be tutored in five languages by nurturing nuns, and then to have one’s family torn asunder as the German and Soviet armies roar into action. This beautifully composed work is a wonderful companion volume to that of Anne Frank—a rich story of the wartime experiences of an observant and sensitive young woman. Saporito’s is a voice of both grace and power. All who open the pages of this remarkable book will find themselves enthralled.”—Sara Mansfield Taber, author of Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter

Sara Mansfield Taber

Ancient Furies is an utterly fascinating account of the plight of White Russians during World War II told by a new and riveting witness. In gorgeous language, through the eyes of an exceptionally gifted girl, the reader learns what it was to grow up in privilege in Russia and Yugoslavia, to be tutored in five languages by nurturing nuns, and then to have one’s family torn asunder as the German and Soviet armies roar into action. This beautifully composed work is a wonderful companion volume to that of Anne Frank—a rich story of the wartime experiences of an observant and sensitive young woman. Saporito’s is a voice of both grace and power. All who open the pages of this remarkable book will find themselves enthralled.”—Sara Mansfield Taber, author of Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-22
A haunting coming-of-age memoir by a woman who survived the traumatic experiences of war, internment in a Nazi labor camp and life as a displaced person with her faith in humanity intact. Saporito wrote the book with her American husband, Donald, who saw it to completion after her death in 2007. They were married in 1958, two weeks after meeting in Colorado. The author began her memoir in 1967, when Vietnam brought back painful memories of her own wartime experiences, and she continued writing it sporadically thereafter. The daughter of aristocratic white Russians who moved to Yugoslavia (where she was born in 1928), Saporito enjoyed a privileged existence as part of an elite, tightknit Russian circle until the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941. In contrast to the idyllic security of her early years, the author writes in detail about the disintegration of her family under the stress of the war and their virtual abandonment of her. Torn between the Soviet and German armies, the older generation of émigrés turned toward Germany, despite Nazi atrocities. Her parents and their friends made the hard decision to immigrate to Austria and seek refuge. That gamble failed, and they were sent to a Nazi slave labor camp. With the prodding of her parents and home tutoring, Saporito had become proficient in language, a survival skill her mother had insisted on as insurance against the possibility of future hard times. This turned out to be prescient. At the age of 16, Saporito was sent, against her will, to make her way alone to Austria. She was protected by a young German lieutenant, but he was killed by an Allied bomb before her eyes, and she also landed in the camp. Her language skills proved useful; after the Allied victory, Saporito found work as a translator with the Allied occupation forces. A beautifully written memoir with a spellbinding immediacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612346335
Publisher:
Potomac Books
Publication date:
02/28/2014
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author


ANASTASIA V. SAPORITO was born in 1928 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her father was a White Russian army officer and her mother was the daughter of the pre-revolution general governor of Ukraine. Anastasia taught conversational Russian at Dartmouth College while earning a graduate degree. DONALD L. SAPORITO was married to Anastasia for almost fifty years. He served with the library at Dartmouth College and as library director at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Donald and Anastasia worked together on this book, and he completed it after her death.

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