Myrna Kostash began the first of her travels into Eastern Europe in the spring of 1982. Over the next six years, she returned many times on a quest that took her into a landscape both foreign and somehow familiar. The result is Bloodlines, a heady brew of travel narrative, history, anecdote, political analysis and childhood memories.
As Kostash journeys through Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Polar and Ukraine, meeting writers, dissidents, friends and relatives, she is intensely at home one moment, profoundly disoriented the next. What has this part of the world got to do with me? she asks herself again and again. How do these people imagine the place I come from? Can I trust what I see of theirs? What is my claim on them? Theirs on me? She pieces her answers together into a stunning collage that is equal parts reportage, memory and imagination.
Provocative and deeply felt, Bloodlines is clear evidence that Myrna Kostash is one of the most exciting writers working in Canada today.
"A bold, impassioned book that illuminages places and people little known to Canadians."
"Partly a travel book, partly historical/political investigation and partly a merciless work of cultural self-analysis. It should establish Kostash's place among the world's pre-eminent cultural journalists."
"A deeply intelligent, unconventional account of the author's journey into Eastern EuropeÖMyrna Kostash is something of an underacknowledged national treasure."
"A work of creative non-viction distinguished by courage and commitment and a shameless revelling in language."