Straddling the divides: fact, fiction and Freedomites

Posted by on Dec 18, 2011 in Blogs, News & Events | Comments Off on Straddling the divides: fact, fiction and Freedomites

For those who attended several of my readings, you will recognize Koozma Tarasoff.  His work inspired much of my understanding of the Doukhobor culture when writing Man & Other Natural Disasters.

Nerys Parry and Koozma Tarasoff at Collected Works, Ottawa

Koozma has dedicated his life to documenting and recording the doukhobor tradition in Canada. Born in 1932 on a farm near the Doukhobor community of Pekrovka in Saskatchewan, Koozma went on to receive formal training in psychology, anthropology and sociology. He’s published several books on the Doukhobors, the latest of which I am holding in my hands in the above photo: Spirit Wrestlers: Doukhobor Pioneer’s Strategies for Living

“…it must be acknowledged that Strategies for Living is a first-class example of a personal, subjective approach by a leading ethnographer to a comprehensive description in words and pictures of a particular people…” Iskra Book Review

Koozma makes it a point to read and review everything being published on the Doukhobor and Freedomites today, and has kindly posted a book review of my novel.

“Obviously Nerys enjoys straddling the divide between science and fiction,” Koozma writes. “This is real talent — and she is very good at it.”

Koozma, who has spent 50 years trying “to correct the misinformed damage that has been done by the team Simma [Holt] and Fred [Davidoff]”, found much good to say about my novel, if not about the misconceptions that we continue to nurture when trying to understand religious extremism.

 “A Troubled Personality Revealed” can be read here.

For those readers who want to know more about the Doukhobors, I encourage you to visit Koozma’s website, Spirit Wrestlers, as well as the Doukhobor Geneology website.