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Your Roots Cast a Shadow

One Family's Search across History for Belonging

Published by Health Communications Inc
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

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About The Book

A narrative of cultural translation, identity, and belonging.

The thrill of a new place fades quickly for Caroline Topperman when she moves from Vancouver to Poland in 2013. As she delves into her family’s history, tracing their migration through pre-WWII Poland, Afghanistan, Soviet Russia and beyond, she discovers the layers of their complex experiences mirror some of what she felt as she adapted to life in a new country. How does one balance honoring both one’s origins and new surroundings?

Your Roots Cast a Shadow explores where personal history intersects with global events to shape a family’s identity. From the bustling markets of Baghdad to the quiet streets of Stockholm, Topperman navigates the murky waters of history as she toggles between present and past, investigating the relationship between migration, politics, identity, and home. Her family stories bring history into the present as her paternal grandmother becomes the first woman allowed to buy groceries at her local Afghan market while her husband is tasked with building the road from Kabul to Jalalabad. Topperman’s Jewish grandfather, a rising star in the Communist Party, flees Poland at the start of WWII one step ahead of the Nazis, returning later only to be rejected by the Party for his Jewish faith. Topperman herself struggles with new cultural expectations and reconciling with estranged relatives.

A study in social acceptance, Topperman contends with what one can learn about an adopted culture while trying to retain the familiar, the challenges of learning new languages and traditions even as she examines the responsibilities of migrants to their new culture, as well as that society’s responsibility to them.

About The Author

Born in Sweden and raised in Canada, in 2013 Caroline Topperman returned to her ancestral roots in Poland to live, and to explore her love of traveling and experiencing different cultures. From sampling authentic Neapolitan Pizzas in Naples, to photographing a piano, frozen in a river in Užupis, an independent artist’s republic in Lithuania, to pitching Poutine as a great comfort food to a local French baker in Poland. She speaks fluent English, Polish, and French. Caroline holds a BFA in screenwriting from York University (Toronto). Her book credits include Tell Me What You See: visual writing prompts for the wandering writer (One Idea Press) and a complementary guide to her blog, FitWise: straight talk about being fit & healthy. Caroline has written a column for Huffington Post Canada and was the Beauty Editor for British MODE

Product Details

  • Publisher: Health Communications Inc (December 17, 2024)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780757325427

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