Latest Issue

What forced exile does to a family

Inara Verzemnieks’s remarkable new memoir travels back through the stories of her own relatives

By Josie Mitchell   July 2018

A clean-up team in destroyed Liga, 1941. Photo: German Federal Archive

For someone exiled from their homeland, the past becomes an almost physical place. Inara Verzemnieks’s memoir, a remarkable debut, considers the effect of forced exile on the elders of her family—the displacement of her Latvian grandmother Livija to America after the Second World War mirrored in her great-aunt Ausma’s Soviet exile to Siberia.

As refugees, forced to abandon Riga while bombs dropped on the Latvian capital during the war, Livija and her husband Emils were unable…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect