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Mary L. Grow, Night Train to Odessa
Mary L. Grow, Night Train to Odessa

Thu, Sep 14


Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Mary L. Grow, Night Train to Odessa

In this historical novel of love and lore, idealism and corruption, and, always hope, Mary L. Grow writes with grace and conviction about a young widow searching for her missing children in the beautiful but beleaguered city of Odessa during the upheaval of the Bolshevik revolution.

Date, Time & Location

Sep 14, 2023, 6:00 PM MDT

Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

About the Event

This will be an in-store event and live streamed to Zoom, register here for Zoom.

Purcahse copies of Night Train to Odessa by calling the store to order (505) 988-4226. Signed copies will be available after the event

It is 1919. The Russian Civil War rages in the Ukraine. Elvira Maria Andrushko, a mother, recently widowed, flees the embattled countryside bound for the safe haven, Odessa. As the night train approaches she is violently separated from her small children and arrives in the seaport alone and traumatized. Bewildered by the city’s harshness, alienated by unhelpful authorities, and tormented by her loss, she searches Odessa hoping to find her children.

Elvira Maria soon meets Michail Lukashenko, an immigrant from Mińsk who ekes out a living with his puppet theatre. She is attracted by his charm and the fairytale performances that entertain hundreds of children, who could be her own. But the innocent faces cheering in the crowds are not all happy, nor have they all come to watch the show. Elvira Maria reluctantly enters an underworld where the price of life and the cost of war dictate the terms of survival.

Night Train to Odessa is a beautiful and moving novel of hope and courage, and a loving tribute to Odessa.

About the Author

Mary L. Grow's career skills as a cultural anthropologist and Fulbright-Hays Research Scholar have informed the research necessary for this historical setting. The puppet theatre performances harken back to her time touring with troupes in both the US and Southeast Asia. Events in Elvira Maria's life also have some basis in her family history.

Grow's ethnographies have been published by Yale University Press, Smithsonian Institution, and University of Hawai'i Press, among others. Short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals (The Dalhousie Review, Rosebud, Gargoyle) and broadsides. For a lark, and to work with her husband, who's an artist and illustrator, she has self-published two children's chapter books, Chester Meets The Walker House Ghost and Chester & The Mystery of the Tilted World. Both have become cult classics among cat lovers.

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