Motherland Lost: The Saga of the Tarasov family. A true story of a close-knit family in a turbulent era |
In 2002 the author, Gary Nash (born Igor Ivashkov) wrote a book in English titled THE TARASOV SAGA – From Russia through China to Australia. It was very successful and was chosen by the Australian Bookseller and Publisher magazine as one of the Top 20 non-fiction books of that year. This was the first time that a book written by a Russian in Australia was thus acknowledged. Here are some of the magazine’s comments:
“… extraordinary tale of a Russian family’s changing fortunes throughout the 20th century … crammed with details of life in pre-Soviet Russia; in the extra-territorial Western communities of Chinese cities; on the Displaced Persons' Camp on the Philippine island of Tubabao ; and in post-war Australia … The prose is simple and direct; the material riveting.”
Many Russian readers bemoaned the fact that it was not written in Russian. Finally the author, with the help of a friend in Kirgizstan, translated it into his mother tongue and published it in Russia under the title (translated) MOTHERLAND LOST: The Saga of the Tarasov family. The book was launched in St Petersburg at the prestigious Russian National Library in February 2011 and is now available in Australia.
Tarasov, a colonel in the ‘White’ Russian army, his wife Aida and their five children suffered the traumas of the Revolution and the Civil War which followed it. The story details Aida’s search for her husband across the vast expanse of Siberia, her separation from her five children during the turmoil, and the unbelievable events which led to the family’s eventual escape into China in 1922.
A new life began in the bustling city of Harbin, the “Moscow of the Orient”. Years of hard work and deprivation brought them some semblance of a good life, only to have it shattered by the arrival of the Japanese aggressors in 1937. The War years followed, and then a few years of relative peace before the arrival of the Chinese ‘Reds’. The consequent mass exodus of the ‘White’ Russians from China in 1949 to a Displaced Persons’ Camp on the uninhabited Philippine island of Tubabao is chronicled with startling detail. The final leg of this epic journey brings the whole family to Australia.
The story gives a vivid description of life in the Russified city of Harbin, the Foreign Concessions of Tientsin and Shanghai, and the exclusive resort of Peitaiho Beach. It also covers the early years of the family’s experiences in Australia during the era of the ‘New Australian’. Richly illustrated with 200 photographs interspersed through the text, it also contains interesting, little known historical details about Russia and China.
The author writes:
“The tough life, the deprivations - these are what made our parents and grandparents courageous and resilient. They had to fight for everything. They learned not to wilt under pressure, nor to take anything for granted. They treated hardship as just a normal phase of life, a stepping-stone to a brighter future. And they were grateful for the good times when they came.”
The book contains 296 pages printed on high quality glossy paper, and richly illustrated
with 200 photographs interspersed through the text. Price in Australia $35
Contact the author on 02-9958-3089, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Website in English and Russian www.tarasovsaga.com