Imagining another culture, another era, is challenge enough.  Imagining six, a daunting task.  A task made more daunting by the research required.  Although the focus was to be on the lives of the families before History closed in on them, I needed to acquaint or reacquaint myself with the fate that awaited them which meant reading and thinking about genocide, starvation, war and occupation, displacement, and trauma.
I immersed myself in the world of my characters by reading their literature, historical accounts, diaries, and memoirs (in translation, except for anything written in French); learning about their food and customs; listening to their music and their language; exploring their family structures, their religious beliefs.  I also pored over maps, pictures, and newspapers; watched documentaries and feature films.

I read or consulted more than 150 books and many scholarly articles, applying the skills I had acquired while pursuing two degrees in History.  Some of the books listed here were read after the book was finished and informed some of the revisions I made to the text.

The internet was an invaluable resource.  I used it to write to experts, find maps, photos, and film footage, and access personal diaries uploaded decades after they were first written.  To give you only a few examples, I found pictures of the Turkish city of Kayseri (Gesaria) taken in 1909, watched film footage of Czar Nicholas II walking around Poltava (also in 1909), and the transcript of the speech Pope John Paul II gave in Rwanda in September 1990.  The material I found on the internet was of course limited to what was available in, translated into, or tagged in English or French.

The bibliography lists the general works first and then the ones specific to each story.


Griffin, Susan.  A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War.  New York, Doubleday, 1992

Hoffman, Eva.  After Such Knowledge: Memory, History and the Legacy of the Holocaust.  New York: Public Affairs, 2004. (Read in 2004)

Lifton, Robert Jay.  Witness to An Extreme Century: A Memoir.  New York, Free Press, 2011.

Ozick, Cynthia. "Who Owns Anne Frank?" in Quarrel and Quandary.  New York, Vintage Books, 2000.

Paris, Erna.  Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History.  Toronto, Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2000.

Sen, Amartya.  Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny.  New York , W. W. Norton & Company, 2006.
Schlink, Bernhard. Guilt about the Past. Toronto, House of Anansi Press, 2010.   

Sontag, Susan.  Regarding the Pain of Others.  New York, Picador, 2003.

Schwarz, Daniel R.  Imagining the Holocaust.  New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1999.

Todorov, Tzvetan.  Hope and Memory: Lessons From the Twentieth Century.  Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2003.


Gellately, Robert and Kiernan, Ben (editors).  The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2003, Cambridge, U.K.

Kiernan, Ben.  Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination From Sparta to Darfur.   New Haven : Yale University Press, c2007.

Midlarsky, Manus I.  The Killing Trap: Genocide in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge and New York, Cambridge Univesity Press, 2005.

Power, Samantha.  “A Problem from Hell” America and the Age of Genocide.  New York, Basic Books, 2002

Shaw, Martin.  What is Genocide?  Cambridge, Polity, 2007.

Snyder, Timothy.  Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.  New York, Tim Duggan Books, 2015.

Totten, Samuel and Parsons, William S. Parsons (editors).  Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts.   New York, Routledge, 2004.


Strout, Martha.  The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness.

MAPS OF EUROPE Turkey 1914-15


Akçam, Taner.  The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire.  Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2012 *

Arlen, Michael J.  Passage to Ararat.  New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1975.

Balakian, Peter.  Black Dog of Fate.  New York, BasicBooks, 1997.

Balakian, Peter.  The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response. New York, HarperCollins, 2003

Dobkin, Marjorie Housepian.  Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City.  Faber and Faber, London, 1972

Bozarslan, Hamit.  Comprendre le génocide des Arméniens 1915 à nos jours. Paris, Tallandier, 2015

Kaprielan-Churchill, Isabel.  Like Our Mountains: A History of Armenians in Canada.  Montreal and Kingston, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.

Kherdian, David.  The Road from Home: the Story of an Armenian Girl.  New York.  Greenwillow Books, 1979.

London, Joan.  Gilgamesh.  New York, Grove Press, 2001.

Marcom, Micheline Aharonian.  Three Apples Fell From Heaven.  New York, Riverhead Books, 2001.

Marsden, Philip.  The Crossing Place: A Journey Among the Armenians.  London, HarperCollins, 1993.

Miller, Donald E. and Miller, Lorna Touryan.  Survivors: an Oral History of the Armenian Genocide.  Berkeley, University of California Press, 1993.

Milton, Giles.  Paradise Lost, Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of Islam’s City of Tolerance.  London, Septre (Hodder and Stoughton), 2008.
Mustian, Mark T.  The Gendarme. New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, c2010.

Reinhardt, Richard.  The Ashes of Smyrna: A Novel of the Near East.  New York, Harper and Row, 1971.

Smyrnelis, Marie-Carmen.  Smyrne, la ville oubliée? 1830-1930.  Mémoires d’un grand port ottoman.  Paris, Les Éditions Autrement, 2006.

Werfel, Franz.  The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. New York, Viking Press, 1967.

Yessaian, Harry.  Out of Turkey: The True Life Story of Donik "Haji Bey" Yessaian.  Dearborn. Armenian Research Center, University of Michigan-Dearborn, 1994.


Fangakis-Syrett, Elena. “The Making of an Ottoman Port: The Quay of Izmir in the Nineteenth Century”. Journal of Transport History, March 2000.

Georgelin, Hervé.  “Smyrne à la fin de l'Empire ottoman : un cosmopolitisme si voyant”. Cahiers de la Méditerranée, vol. 67, 2003.


Ararat (2002) directed by Atom Egoyan
Calendar (1993) directed by Atom Egoyan
Mon Fils sera Arménien. (2004) directed by Hagop Goudsouzian, National Film Board

THE VIEW FROM THE BLUFF: Ukraine 1932-33

Bassis, Volodymyr and Dhilawala, Sakina.  Cultures of the World: Ukraine.  Tarrytown, N.Y., Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2009 (second edition).

Borys, Jurij. The Sovietization of Ukraine 1917-1923: The Communist Doctrine and Practice of National Self-Determination.  Revised edition. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Edmonton 1980.

Boulgakov, Mikhail Afanas'evich.  La Garde Blanche.  Paris, Laffont, [c1970].

Brown, Katherine and Zemliansky, Pavel.  Welcome to Ukraine!  Gareth Stevens Publishing, Singapore, 2003.

Conquest, Robert.  The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine.
Edmonton, University of Alberta Press and The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1986.

Dalton, Meredith.  Culture Shock! Ukraine.  A Guide to Customs and Etiquette.  Portland, Graphic Arts Centre Publishing Company, 1999.

Dimarov, Anatoliy, Hutsalo, Yevhen and Zvychayna, Olena.  A Hunger Most Cruel.  Saskatoon,  Language Lanterns Publications, 2002.

Dolot, Miron (pen name of Simon Starow). Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust.  New York, W.W. Norton and Company, 1985.

Englund, Peter.  The Battle That Shook Europe: Poltava and the Birth of the Russian Empire.  New York, I. B. Tauris, 2003.  

Gogol, Nikolai.  The Complete Tales of Nikolai Gogol, volumes I and II.  Edited by Leonard Kent.  Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1985.

Gorsuch, Anne E.  “Flappers and Foxtrotters” in Youth in Revolutionary Russia: Enthusiasts, Bohemians, Delinquents.  Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2000.

Grossman, Vasily.  Forever Flowing.  New York, Harper and Row, 1972.

Hamm, Michael F.  Kiev: A Portrait, 1800-1917.

Infield, Glenn B.  The Poltava Affair: A Russian Warning, An American Tragedy.  New York, MacMillan Publishing, 1973.

Keefer, Janice Kulyk.  Honey and Ashes: A Story of Family.  Toronto, Harper Collins, 1998.

Keefer, Janice Kulyk.  The Green Library. Toronto, HarperCollins, 1996.

Paustovsky, Konstantin.  The Story of a Life.  New York, Pantheon, 1982.  

Pernin, Muriel.  Un jour en Ukraine.  Paris, Syros, 1998.

Ruryk, Nancy (editor).  Ukrainian Embroidery Designs and Stitches.  Winnipeg, Trident Press, 1958.

Sholokhov Mikhail.  Virgin Soil Upturned.  Translated by H.C. Stevens.  New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1961.

Sholokhov Mikhail.  Harvest on the Don.  Translated by H.C. Stevens.  New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1961.

Subtelny, Orest.  Ukraine: A History.  Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2000 (3rd edition).

Susak, K.R. and Stefuk, N.A.  Ukrainian Folk Embroidery: techniques, methodology, methods.  
Kyiv, Naukovyi Svit, 2006.

Wilson, Andrew.  The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation.  New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000.
Yekelchyk, Serhy.  Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007.

ONE STEP AT A TIME IS GOOD WALKING: China and Canada 1937-1997

Binstock, R.C.  Tree of Heaven.  New York, Soho, 1995.

Buck, Pearl.  My Several Worlds.  New York, John Day and Company, c1953.

Buck, Pearl.  The First Wife and Other Stories.  New York, John Day and Company, c1934.

Chang, Iris.  The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II.  New York, BasicBooks, 1997

Clements, Jonathan. The Little Book of Chinese Proverbs.  Bath, Parragon, 1999.

Conn, Peter.  Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography.  Cambridge University Press, 1996

Harrison, Henrietta. “Sun Yat-sen’s Burial and the Limits of Citizenship” in The Making of the Republican Citizen: Political Ceremonies and Symbols in China 1911-1929.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.

Hu, Hua-ling.  American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin.  Southern Illinois University Press, 2000.

Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders. An Illustrated History of the Nanjing Massacre.  Beijing, China Intercontinental Press, 2005.

West, Paul. The Tent of Orange Mist. New York, Scribner, c1995.

Wickert, Erwin, ed.  The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe.  New York, Alfred E. Knopf 1998
Wilson, Dick.  When Tigers Fight: The Story of the Sino-Japanese War 1937-45.  London, Hutchinson and Company, 1982

Ye, Zhaoyan.  Nanjing 1937: A Love Story.  New York, Anchor Books, 2004.

Ye, Zhaoyan.  Old Nanjing: Reflections of Scenes on the Qinhuai River. Beijing. Foreign Languages Press, 200

MAL'ACHIM: France, 1942-43


La Shoah (Holocaust) in France

Abella, Irving and Troper, Harold.  None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1948.  Toronto, Lester Publishing, 1991 edition.

Arditti, Michael.  A Sea Change.  London, Maia, 2006.

Berr, Hélène.  Journal 1942-1944.  Paris, Éditions Tallandier, 2008.

Calet, Henri.  Le Tout sur le Tout.  Paris, Gallimard, 1998 (publié originalemen en 1948).

DeSaix, Deborah Durland and Ruelle, Karen Gray.  Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon.  New York, Holiday House, 2007.

Gilbert, Martin.  The Righteous.  Toronto, Key Porter Books, 2003.   

Goldstein, Madeleine (avec Serge Pilippini).  On se retrouvera: L’amour au-delà de l’enfer.  Paris, Éditions de l’Archipel, 2006.

Guéno, Jean-Marie.  Les enfants du silence: Mémoires d’enfants cachés 1939-45.  Paris, Radio-France/Éditions Milan, 2003.

Hallie, Philip.  Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed: The Story of the village of Le Chambon and how goodness happened there.  New York, Harper and Row, 1979.

Klarsfeld, Serge.  La Shoah en France: coffret de 4 volumes.  Paris, Les éditions Fayard, 2001

Leapman, Michael.  Witnesses to War.  London, Penguin Books, 1998.  (Only relevant chapters)

Lévy, Claude et Tillard, Paul.  Betrayal at the Vel d’Hiv. New York, Hill and Wang, 1967

Matas, Carol.  Greater Than Angels.  Toronto, Scholastic Canada, 1998.

Modiano, Patrick.  Dora Bruder.  Paris, Éditions Gallimard, 1997.

Muller, Annette.  La petite fille du Vel’d’Hiv’.  Paris, Editions Denoël, 1991.

Némirovsky, Irène.  Suite française.  Paris, Editions Denoël, 2004.

Perrier, Jean-Louis.  L’exil de la Joconde.  Paris, Albin Michel, 2005

Redel, Victoria.  The Border of Truth.  New York, Counterpoint, 2007.

Rittner, Carol and Myers, Sondra, ed.  The Courage to Care: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust.  New York, New York University Press, 1986.

Weiss, Jonathan.  Irène Némirovsky: biographie.  Paris, Editions du Félin, 2005.

Wiesel, Elie.  Night.  New York, Hill and Wang, 2006.

Winock, Michel (préface).  Mémoires de la Shoah, Paris, Éditions du Chêne, 2005.


Bouvet, Vincent et Durozoi, Gérard.  Paris: Between the Wars 1919-1939 Art, Life and Culture.
New York, The Vendome Press, c2010.
Paul, Elliot.  The Last Time I Saw Paris.  New York, Random House, 1942

Crespelle, Jean-Paul.   La vie quotidienne à Montparnasse à la grande époque 1905-1930.  Paris, Hachette, 1976.

Rhys, Jean.  Good Morning, Midnight.

Tindall, Gillian.  Footprints in Paris: A few streets, a few lives.  London, Chatto and Windus, 2009

Occupied France:

Dutourd, Jean.  Au Bon Beurre.  Paris, Éditions Gallimard, 1952.
du Bouchet, Paule.  Dans Paris occupé: Journal d’Hélène Pitrou, 1940-45.  Paris, Gallimard Jeunesse, 2005.

Gildea, Robert. Marianne in Chains: In Search of the German Occupation of France 1940-45. London, Pan Books, 2002.
Humbert, Agnès.  Résistance: A Woman’s Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France.  New York, Bloomsbury, 2008.
Jackson, Julian.  France: The Dark Years 1940-44.  Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001.

Ragache, Gilles.  Les enfants de la guerre: Vivre, survivre, lire et jouer en France 1939-1949.  Paris, Librairie Académique Perrin, 1997.

Rosbottom, Ronald C.  When Paris Went Dark: the City of Light under German Occupation. New York, Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

Rousso, Henry.  Les années noires: vivre sous l’Occupation.  Paris, Éditions Gallimard, 1998.

Vallaud, Pierre.  Les Français sous l’Occupation 1940-44. Paris, Éditions Pygmalion, 2002.

Vinen, Richard.  The Unfree French: Life Under the Occupation.  New Haven, Yale University Press, 2006.


Pearson, Chris.  “The Age of Wood: Fuel and Fighting in French Forests, 1940-44.  Environmental History, Volume 111, Issue 4, 2006.


The Children of Chabannes
Monsieur Bastignole
Hidden Lives
Les sculptures du Louvre, 1993.
The Sorrow and the Pity
The Hidden Child

BREATHING: Cambodia and Canada 1975-2005

Best, Anne.  The Monk, the Farmer, the Merchant, the Mother: Survival Stories of Rural Cambodia.  2005, FEDA, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Bizot, François.  The Gate.  New York, Alfred Knopf, 2002.
Criddle, Joan D. and Mam, Teeda Butt.  To Destroy You is No Loss: The Odyssey of a Cambodian Family.  Boston, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987.

Dunlop, Nic.  The Lost Executioner: A Story of the Khmer Rouge.  Bloomsbury, London, 2005.
Echlin, Kim.  The Disappeared. Penguin Canada, Toronto, 2010.

Etcheson, Craig. After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide.
Texas Tech University Press, 2006.

Gargan, Edward A.  The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong.  Alfred A. Knopf.  New York 2002.

Kiernan, Ben.  The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79, Third Edition.  Princeton, Yale University Press, 2008 (third edition)

Him, Chanrithy.  When Broken Glass Floats.  W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2000.

Hinton, Devon E. and Good, Byron J. (Editors).  Culture and Panic Disorder.  Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2009.

Lafrenière, Bree.  Music Through the Dark. Honolulu : University of Hawai’i Press, 2000.

 Lee, Cecelia.  Cambodia: A Cultural Profile.  University of Toronto Press, 1999.
Pran, Dith (compiled by).  Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors.  New Haven, Yale University Press, 1997.

Ratner, Vaddey.  In the Shadow of the Banyan.  Simon and Schuster, 2012

Thien, Madeleine.  Dogs at the Perimeter. Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 2011.

Tremblay, Hélène.  Chanthan’s Journal: A Family in Cambodia.  Winnipeg, Peguis Publishers, 1997.

Ung, Loung.  First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.  HarperCollins, New York, 2000.

Ung, Loung.  Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind.  New York, HarperCollins, 2005.


Braekman, Colette.  Rwanda: Histoire d’un génocide, Fayard, 1995.

Carr, Rosamond Halsey.  Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda. New York, Penguin Putnam, 2000.

Chrétien, Jean-Pierre. The Great Lakes of Africa: Two Thousand Years of History.
New York, Zone Books, 2003.            

Courtemanche, Gil.  Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali.  Montréal, Les Éditions du Boréal, 2000.

Dallaire, Roméo.  Shake Hands with the Devil.  Toronto, Random House, 2003.

Destexhe, Alain.  Rwanda.  Essai sur le génocide.  Bruxelles, Complexe, 1994.

Gourevitch, Philip.  We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families.  Stories from Rwanda.  New York, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1998.

Hatzfeld, Jean.  Into the Quick of Life: The Rwandan Genocide : the Survivors Speak : A Report.  London : Serpent's Tail, 2005
Keane, Fergal.  Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey. London and New York, Penguin, 1996.

Klotchkoff, Jean-Claude.  Rwanda Today.  Paris, Jaguar, 2003.

Koff, Clea.  The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.  Toronto : A.A. Knopf Canada, 2004.

Lacroix, Benoît.  Le Rwanda: Mille heures au pays des milles collines.  Montréal, Éditions du Lévrier, 1966.

Leyton, Elliott.  Touched by Fire: Doctors Without Borders in a Third World Crisis.  Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1998

Lindner, Evelin.  The Psychology of Humiliation. Somalia, Rwanda / Burundi, and Hitler’s Germany, (dissertation, doctorate of psychology University of Oslo), 2001

Mujawayo, Esther et Belhaddad, Souâd.  SurVivantes.  France: Editions de l’aube, 2004

Mukagasana,Yolande et May, Patrick.  N’aie pas peur de savoir: Rwanda : un million de morts, une rescapée tutsi raconte.  Paris, Laffont, c1999.

Nadon, Francine. Nyagataré. Outremont (Québec), Lanctôt éditeur, 2003.

Neuffer, Elizabeth.  The Key to My Neighbor’s House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia & Rwanda.  New York : Picador USA, 2001.

Pierre Crépeau (adaptation).  Paroles du soir: Contes du Rwanda (recueillis par Monseigneur Bigirumwami).  Orléans (Ontario), Editions David, 2000.

Pottier, Johan.  Re-Imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the Late Twentieth Century.  Cambridge University Press, U.K. 2002 (read in 2005)

Prunier, Gérard. The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide.  New York, Columbia University Press, 1995.

Sebarenzi, Joseph.  God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation.  New York, Atria Books, 2009.

Vaiter, Marc (avec la collaboration de François Taillandier). Je n’ai pu les sauver tous: témoignage. Paris, Plon, 1995.

Les Plus Belles Berceuses du Monde: 23 berceuses du Mali au Japon.  Paris, Didier Jeunesse, 2008.


Shake Hands with the Devil
Hotel Rwanda