December 8, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shifting Borders, Changing Cultures, World War I:
Local Author Lori Straus Releases Creative Non-Fiction Memoir
Waterloo – Lori Straus, a local freelance writer and translator, has released her first book, Postcards in a Closet, a light, heartfelt story about an unwed woman in 1919 Romania who was expecting her first child.
The book is based on the life of Katharina Wolf, a woman from a farming family who lived from 1901 until some time in the 1960s and wrote postcards to her young granddaughter in Canada. Using these postcards, additional research, and her own experiences as a mother, Straus imagined what the months leading up to the birth of Katharina’s child might have meant to her.
Katharina struggles to understand what it means to live in Romania now, though she never moved: after WWI ended, her town and many other chunks of Hungary were annexed to this “foreign” country. Her father also left twice for America to earn money, and out of seven children, five survived at a time when many children still died in childhood. (Katharina’s own father was one of four surviving children from a brood of 16.)
The book was a venture into Straus’s own heritage, typically called German but more specifically described as Danube Swabian. These people were ethnic Germans living in parts of Eastern Europe from the 18th century until World War II, when many were either shipped off to Russian work camps or relocated back to Germany and Austria.
Straus has her Hons. BA and MA in German. Her MA thesis (published under Lori Heffner) investigated how local German families from the Danube Swabian and Transylvanian Saxon cultures passed on German to their descendants. She works at the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, is the administrative coordinator for the Centre’s oral history project, and is a chapter co-author of the Centre’s work-in-progress, a book based on the collected interviews from the oral history project. She lives in Waterloo with her husband and two sons.
The ebook is available at Amazon and Kobo, and the physical book from Amazon and directly from Straus. Inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.