A FORGOTTEN LAND: Growing up in the Jewish Pale, Based on the Recollections of Pearl Unikow Cooper

A FORGOTTEN LAND: Growing up in the Jewish Pale, Based on the Recollections of Pearl Unikow Cooper
    Price: $22.00

    A FORGOTTEN LAND: Growing up in the Jewish Pale, Based on the Recollections of Pearl Unikow Cooper

    by Lisa Cooper

    Softcover, 230 pages, including 9 pages of b/w photos
    Penina Press, Urim Publications, 2013 
    ISBN: 978-965-524-129-7

    A Forgotten Land is the story of one Jewish family in the Russian Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, set within the wider context of pogroms, World War I, the Russian Revolution and Civil War.  It weaves together personal tragedy and a fascinating but little-known history of the period, as Pearl -- the author's grandmother -- finds her comfortable family life shattered first by the early death of her mother and later by the Bolshevik Revolution and all that follows.

    About the Author:
    Lisa Cooper was born in 1969 in Norwich, England. She studied Russian at Edinburgh University, attracted by a passion for languages and a fascination with the country's people and history.

    As a student, she spent a year in the southern Russian city of Voronezh. Armed with nothing more than an old address dating from the 1960s and a family tree, she managed to make contact with cousins in Kiev, who introduced her to a web of relatives she knew nothing about. The experience helped breed an interest in both family history and Ukrainian history.

    A Forgotten Land was originally conceived as a dissertation for a Masters degree in History at University College London, and is based on a series of recordings made by her father in the 1980s of his mother -- Pearl -- talking in Yiddish about her early life in Ukraine.

    Sidetracked by the fascinating story her grandmother's tapes revealed, she abandoned the degree and set about turning her work into a novel based on her own family's lives and experiences. She lives in Cornwall, south-west England, with her husband and two young children, and works as a journalist. This is her first book.

    Praise for A Forgotten Land:
    "This splendid book belongs to a genre that has inspired some of the best literature of the post-war period. Not fiction, not memoir, not history, not biography but an imaginative interweaving of all these, A Forgotten Land, like Primo Levi's The Truce and Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes, is a true story told in the voice of a narrator who is part of it. And, like these classics, this one is skilfully shaped by an author who knows how to capture and hold her readers. Open to the first paragraph and you'll find it hard to stop reading till you get to the last.

    In this tale of a family's ordeals of survival in the Jewish Pale of the Ukraine for over a hundred years, Lisa Cooper alternately entertains, disturbs and appals, but, by speaking in her grandmother's voice with perfect simplicity, she convinces us throughout that truth is more satisfactory (and more shocking) than fiction, and that the preservation in words of each of these individual's lives is more precious than any number of statistical studies depicting the horrors of a place and time that ought never to be forgotten."
    - Anne Stevenson, author and poet