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Alumna Annie Dawid draws on family history for latest story collection

And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family (BookSurge Publishing, 2009), the latest book from Annie Dawid (PhD English ’89), traces the author’s ancestral roots through a collection of short stories from the perspective of Dawid’s paternal relatives.

The collection begins in the early 20th century with a Jewish Orthodox couple, Lazar and Reizl Soloman. Bukovina (now Ukraine and Romania) serves as an ethnic backdrop for the stories that follow. As each son or daughter reaches adulthood, the family continues to drift apart and reunite.

The Holocaust plays an especially important role in the family’s religion and relocation. Generational differences—and similarities—become apparent in the culminating reunion, where the effects of the war years are seen in the elders.

Much of Dawid’s work is historical fiction that places individuals in the midst of major events. And Darkness is her exploration of personal heritage, highlighting fleeting moments that have shaped her family tree.

As The Jewish Review describes the stories, “The effect is like that of an old family album, where black-and-white photographs are pasted carefully in place, a woman’s spidery handwriting underneath.”

The book, Dawid’s third, also has been reviewed by Colorado Central and The Oregonian. It won the Litchfield Review’s award for short fiction.

Dawid directed the creative writing program at Lewis & Clark College for 15 years. Her other books include York Ferry and Lily in the Desert: Stories. In addition to her stories, Dawid’s photography has been featured in literary magazines nationwide. She lives in Westcliffe, Colo.

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