Ghosts in a Photograph

By (author): Myrna Kostash

In Ghosts in a Photograph, award-winning nonfiction writer Myrna Kostash delves into the lives of her grandparents, all of whom moved from Galicia, now present-day Ukraine, to Alberta at the turn of the twentieth century. Discovering a packet of family mementos, Kostash begins questioning what she knows about her extended families’ pasts and whose narrative is allowed to prevail in Canada.

This memoir, however, is not just a personal story, but a public one of immigration, partisan allegiance, and the stark differences in how two sets of families survive in a new country: one as homesteaders, the other as working-class Edmontonians. Working within the gaps in history–including the unsolved murder in Ukraine of her great uncle–Kostash uses her remarkable acumen as writer and researcher to interrogate the idea of straightforward and singular-voiced pasts and the stories we tell ourselves about where we come from.

Rich in detail and propelled by vital curiosity, Ghosts in a Photograph is a determined, compelling, and multifaceted family chronicle.

AUTHOR

Myrna Kostash

Born and raised in Edmonton, Canada, Myrna Kostash is a full-time writer, author of the classic All of Baba’s Children, the award-winning No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls and Bloodlines: A Journey into Eastern Europe. Among her other books are Reading the River: A Traveller’s Companion to the North Saskatchewan River, The Frog Lake Reader, The Seven Oaks Reader, and Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Runcimann Award (UK), and which won the 2010 City of Edmonton Book Prize and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Wilfred Eggleston Award for Best Nonfiction. In 2010, Kostash was awarded the Writers Trust Matt Cohen Award for a Life of Writing.

Alongside writing for numerous magazines, Kostash has written radio drama and documentary, television documentary, and theatre cabaret. Her journalism, essays, and creative nonfiction have been widely anthologized. She has been a frequent lecturer and instructor of creative writing as well as a writer-in-residence in Canada and the US.

Kostash has lectured across Canada and abroad in Kyiv, Warsaw, Cracow, Belgrade, Nis, Skopje, Sofia, Athens, Szeged, and Baia Mare. She has also served as Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada and on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Conference of the Arts and the Board of the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta. She is co-founder of the Creative Nonfiction Collective, has been a volunteer at the Carrot community café, and serves on the Board of St John’s Institute in Edmonton.

Myrna Kostash makes her home in Edmonton, Alberta. For more information about her work, visit her website at myrnakostash.com.


Reviews

Praise for Myrna Kostash:



All of Baba’s Children


“For a work of non-fiction to become a classic means that it has made a significant contribution to a particular culture by creating a breakthrough in its consciousness and by heralding a new stage in its evolution. All of Baba’s Children achieved this by its vibrant, radical, and revisionist perspective on multiculturalism. . . . All of Baba’s Children has become a manifesto that has yet to be surpassed.”


– George Melnyk



The Doomed Bridegroom


“Kostash has invented a rich literary genre: the erotic-political memoir. With grace, intelligence, knowledge and humour, Kostash leads us through her romantic odyssey, a voyage that records her own sentimental education, but also major events of this waning century’s political history.”


– Alberto Manguel, The Globe and Mail



No Kidding: Inside the Life of Teenage Girls


“Kostash writes with a poetic grace that vividly captures the look, feel, and smell of her subjects…the book goes beyond the numbers to bring its young women to life. No Kidding should join Dr Spock on every parent’s bookshelf.”


Maclean’s


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In Ghosts in a Photograph, award-winning nonfiction writer Myrna Kostash delves into the lives of her grandparents, all of whom moved from Galicia, now present-day Ukraine, to Alberta at the turn of the twentieth century. Discovering a packet of family mementos, Kostash begins questioning what she knows about her extended families’ pasts and whose narrative is allowed to prevail in Canada.

This memoir, however, is not just a personal story, but a public one of immigration, partisan allegiance, and the stark differences in how two sets of families survive in a new country: one as homesteaders, the other as working-class Edmontonians. Working within the gaps in history–including the unsolved murder in Ukraine of her great uncle–Kostash uses her remarkable acumen as writer and researcher to interrogate the idea of straightforward and singular-voiced pasts and the stories we tell ourselves about where we come from.

Rich in detail and propelled by vital curiosity, Ghosts in a Photograph is a determined, compelling, and multifaceted family chronicle.

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Details

Dimensions:

304 Pages
9in * 6in * 1in
1lb

Published:

October 01, 2022

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

NeWest Press

ISBN:

9781774390573

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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