Hey there word nerds!
Today I have the pleasure of talking with author Grace Kennan Warnecke on the show!
Grace is the daughter of George F. Kennan, one of the most influential diplomats of the 20th century, and as such had a very unique childhood. She grew up in the shadow of the Cold War and her larger than life father, but found her way into the limelight to forge a dynamic career for herself.
She is chairman of the board of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a fellow of Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and was the associate producer of the prizewinning PBS documentary The First Fifty Years: Reflections on U.S.-Soviet Relations; just to name a few of her accomplishments.
She has now written a memoir titled Daughter of the Cold War, which tells the tale of Grace’s whole life lived on the edge of history.
Listen in as Grace and I chat about crafting a broadscope memoir, and owning your own story.
In this episode Grace and I discuss:
- How writing groups can lift you up and help you reach your writing goals.
- Keeping a memoir enthralling from beginning to end.
- Crafting your whole life into a story.
- Ways to navigate writing about others’ lives without censoring yourself.
- Why you should never turn down an opportunity.
Plus, Grace’s #1 tip for writers.
About Grace Kennan Warnecke
Grace Kennan Warnecke is chairman of the board of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. A fellow of Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and member of the advisory council of the Kennan Institute, she is former chair of the National Advisory Council at the Harriman Institute, and has held numerous positions in the public and private sector. Additionally, she was associate producer of the prizewinning PBS documentary The First Fifty Years: Reflections on U.S.-Soviet Relations, and is the author of the memoir Daughter of the Cold War, which is available now from University of Pittsburgh Press.
Grace Kennan Warnecke’s memoir is about a life lived on the edge of history. Daughter of George F. Kennan, one of the most influential diplomats of the 20th century, wife of C.K. McClatchy, the scion of a newspaper dynasty, and mother of Kevin McClatchy, the youngest owner of a major league baseball team, Warnecke eventually found her way out from under the shadows of others to forge a dynamic career of her own.
Born in Latvia, Warnecke lived in seven countries and spoke five languages before the age of 11. As a child, she witnessed Hitler’s march into Prague, attended a Soviet school during World War II, and sailed the seas with her father. In a multifaceted career, she worked as a professional photographer, television producer, and book editor and critic.
Eventually, like her father, Warnecke became a Russian specialist, but of a very different kind. She accompanied Ted Kennedy and his family to Russia, escorted Joan Baez to Moscow to meet with dissident Andrei Sakharov, and hosted Josef Stalin’s daughter on the family farm after Svetlana defected to the United States. While running her own consulting company in Russia, she witnessed the breakup of the Soviet Union, and later became director of a women’s economic empowerment project in a newly independent Ukraine.
Daughter of the Cold War is a tale of all these adventures and much more. This compelling and evocative memoir allows readers to follow Warnecke’s amazing path through life—a whirlwind journey of survival, risk, and self-discovery through a kaleidoscope of many countries, historic events, and unforgettable people.
If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!