Episode 435: Family, Soviet History, and the Power of Art in Historical Fiction – Interview with Suzanne Parry

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Today, Lori is interviewing Suzanne Parry. They’ll be talking about the power of art and her book Lost Souls of Leningrad.

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In this episode Suzanne Parry and Lori discuss:

  • Writing a story that people will read about a particularly gruesome event.
  • Structuring the chapter format and perspective to support the story you’re telling.
  • Exploring the bonds that art creates between people.

Plus, her #1 tip for writers.

About Suzanne Parry

A former European security specialist, Suzanne writes historical fiction about the Soviet Union. She studied Russian in Moscow and earned a Master’s from Princeton University before joining the US Department of Defense. While at the Pentagon, she helped negotiate the first security agreement of the Gorbachev era. She raised a large family, taught university, and coached high school cross-country and track for fifteen years before embarking on a writing career. A veteran of several dozen marathons on six continents, Suzanne now runs slowly and not very far. 

You can find her on her website or follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.

Lost Souls of Leningrad

June 1941. Hitler’s armies race toward vulnerable Leningrad. In a matter of weeks they encircle the city, cut off the food supply and begin a vicious bombardment. Widowed violinist Sofya and her teenage granddaughter Yelena are cornered in the crumbling city.

On Leningrad’s outskirts, Admiral Vasili Antonov defends his homeland and fights for a future with Sofya. Meanwhile, Yelena’s soldier fiancé transports food across the Ice Road—part of the desperate effort to save Leningrad. As the two women struggle for survival, Sofya’s reckoning with a family secret threatens to finish what Hitler started.

Based on actual events, Lost Souls of Leningrad is an intimate and richly layered World War II story. Equal parts war epic, family saga, and love story, it is a tale of two remarkable women—grandmother and granddaughter—separated by years and experience but of one heart in their devotion to each other and the men they love. Neither the oppression of Stalin nor the brutality of Hitler can destroy their determination in this testament to resilience.

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!

Link to Episode 435

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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