By Korie Marshall
Even when she returned with her husband to tour her childhood home in West Prussia, today Poland, she didn’t tell anyone about what had happened to her and her family when they fled the Red Army in 1945. It wasn’t until she realized her husband was dying that Christa Maxeiner sat down and wrote out 30 pages about that other trauma, the one of her early life. She sent the pages to her son, and he and other friends convinced Maxeiner to write more, to tell the whole story.
Ann McKirdy who proofread the English translation, two chapters at a time, read some passages from the newly released “Hanging by a Thread” on Friday evening during Maria’s Community Book Fair. She says it is a story told with honesty and no judgment, one she wishes she could have read in high school to learn about the experiences of people during the Second World War.
The German title of the book, released about a decade ago, roughly translates to “Through Rose colored Glasses”, said Maxeiner. McKirdy and Maria Lerch, who also read a passage that she most remembered from reading the original German version, agree that the book tells of great trauma, but that it reminds the reader to always treasure life.
Several other local authors including Maureen Brownlee, Eleanor Deckert and Laura Keil read from their books and stories on Saturday, and local artist Alison Kubbos offered a display of her wood carvings, paintings and prints.
Lerch says this was the first time she held the annual fund raising event over three days rather than two, and noticed that lots of people came on Thursday, many that she hadn’t seen attending the event in previous years. Proceeds from the book sale go towards the Valemount Ambulance this year, and proceeds from the concession went to the Zimbabwe Gecko Society.