The Russlander

The Russlander

Book - 2001
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Katherine (Katya) Vogt is now an old woman living in Winnipeg, but the story of how she and her family came to Canada begins in Russia in 1910, on a wealthy Mennonite estate. Here they lived in a world bounded by the prosperity of their landlords and by the poverty and disgruntlement of the Russian workers who toil on the estate. But in the wake of the First World War, the tensions engulfing the country begin to intrude on the community, leading to an unspeakable act of violence. In the aftermath of that violence, and in the difficult years that follow, Katya tries to come to terms with the terrible events that befell her and her family. In lucid, spellbinding prose, Birdsell vividly evokes time and place, and the unease that existed in a county on the brink of revolutionary change. The Russländer is a powerful and moving story of ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2001
ISBN: 9780771014505
Branch Call Number: FIC Birds 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 350 p


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Jan 20, 2013

Beautifull written about a little known culture, the mennonites in Russia. But you need a strong stomach to handle all the greed, envy and killing.

Oct 01, 2011

Birdsell writes wonderful prose in this story of Katya, a Mennonite girl who escapes being slaughtered along with most of her other family during World War 1 in pre-communist Russia. I found this book started off rather slowly, but wound up being quite an interesting historical read.

donnabelmac Sep 06, 2010

Too many characters introduced in the beginnig. Even at the end of the book I was still going back to figure out who was who. The only reason I persisted in continuing to read the book is because it is my brother-in-laws history.

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