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Monday, December 3, 2007

Northport Author Goes International

Rich Thomas writes from Potomac, Maryland, with news of his late wife’s book, introduced in Northport this past summer:

“Sigrid and her book are now making history. She and GOODBYE STALIN [see Books in Northport postings for October 22 & 24] will be the subject of a huge, two page spread, with six pictures, tomorrow, December 1, in Postimees, the only national daily newspaper in Estonia. (Her book is not--yet--translated into either Estonian or German, although such editions may soon be in the works. The news story is probably in Estonian, although an English translation may be instantly available. I'm going to have one made if it is not.) The Estonian piece can be viewed on tomorrow. [Note from Dog Ears: Here is the link to the Estonian online article.]

“I learned the paper planned this spread only on the morning Sigrid died, Oct. 22. My son Stryk and I spent the day kissing her, holding her hands and repeatedly telling her that she was going to be a famous author in her homeland, and that her book because of this prominent treatment would become at least a paragraph or footnote in the national narrative of Estonia. I have been supplying information to Postimees off and on over the last month.

“I am now weak with joy for my beautiful wife and her legacy. She has had attention before but nothing like this. You must all have seen the Leelanau Enterprise piece by Amy Hubbell last summer on her book Also the Potomac Almanac locally did an interview, and the current issue of Bethesda Magazine, November-December issue, p. 37, has a piece. You can seek it on

“I am also about to publish a piece, 'An Email Illness, An Email Death,' in Newsweek magazine, the 'My Turn' page. This is on the wonderful ability of a concerted email campaign to lighten and make sustainable a horrid bout of long-term hospitalized illness and even death.

“The Postimees article is especially wonderful because it is about a book that still is in English only. Also, the book marks an absolute turning point in Estonian views of its own history. Until this moment modern Estonians have chosen, with ample historical reasons, to ignore the Baltic German heritage of their country. This reflects their anger for having been subjugated to Baltic German nobles, descendants of the Teutonic Knights, for 700 years, from 1226 to 1921. The Estonians even deprived the remnant of Baltic Germans who stayed after 1921, Sigrid's family included, from the right to reclaim property they had to abandon when they fled Stalin in 1939.

“Now, Postimees is using Sigrid's book and her family's fantastic story to bring this submerged history of Baltic Germans up for consideration and review.”

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