The despair of refugees has haunted us long before the civil war in Syria. Lyse Champagne's evocative new story collection attempts to put these collective and individual tragedies into a historical context.Two Armenian sisters write to each other in the year leading up to their deportations. A young Ukrainian mother embroiders her life story as famine threatens. A boy travels to Hong Kong by train while the Japanese march towards his hometown of Nanjing. A Jewish girl collects words and falls in love as she hides in a French mountain village in 1942. A Cambodian refugee recalls his childhood in his home country and his new life in Canada on a makeshift stage. A Rwandan family prepares to emigrate days before President Habyarimana's plane is shot down.