We’re delighted to let everyone know that the first italki created book has been published!
Italki Moderator/member Jura has published A Wolf at our Door based on her Notebook entries on italki. Jura has been with italki since 2008 and serves as one of our Community Moderators. A Wolf at our Door chronicles the survival feat of a Lithuanian great-aunt and her two daughters when abruptly exiled to Siberia in World War II for 37 years.
Jura’s book actually started off as a single italki Notebook entry in which she just posed a simple question to the italki community:
“My aunt in Lithuania left me her memoirs about her life in Siberia when she and her family were deported there by the Russians during World War 2. Is it worth my while translating her memoirs into English? What do people think?” http://www.italki.com/entry/140381
After a resounding YES!!! from the italki community, Jura launched into a weekly Notebook series that she called Stories from Siberia. It became a very popular Notebook series, so popular in fact that we had some members who translated parts of them into their other languages. italki Member Perla translated them into Spanish:
Also italki Member Melamine Free translated a few entries into Chinese.
Jura said that posting the weekly Stories from Siberia Notebook entries was an effective test to see what response there would be as she was considering creating a book.
“Each week I’d post an episode online and it got a lot of response. The readers on the site suggested it should be compiled into a book.
“Even the Russian people learning on the site didn’t know anything about this episode in their history.”
The story traces back to when an expanding Soviet Union was annexing satellite countries, using their populations as forced labour. Jura said best estimates were that some 200,000 Lithuanians were deported, many dying in brutal -50C Arctic weather.
“Essentially it was ethnic cleansing, as we know it today. They were kept moving every few years, wherever the Soviets needed forced labour.” Jura said the book aimed to “bring to life the struggles of a forgotten generation of Lithuanian women who survived when so many others perished”.
We wanted to support Jura and let everyone know that her book has officially been released now and you can get your copy on eBay for only $AUD16.95 (ships anywhere in the world for a flat international postage rate of $AUD9.00)