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Small things left behind

Ella Zeltserman

Canadian Studies, Poetry

Published: September 2014
ISBN: 9781772120028
Pages: 88 Size: 5.25x9

"Freedom is something my father has never known. How do I explain freedom to the ones born bent?" —from "Not Scared"

Ella Zeltserman’s poetry cuts both ways. The story of her flight from the USSR in 1979—of the young family she brought to Edmonton and the older one she left behind—does "explain freedom to the ones born bent," but it also explains oppression to the ones born free. Deftly modulating language, imagery, and events of past and present, comfort and tyranny, atrocity and family, home and war, Leningrad and Edmonton, she touches readers emotionally, drawing them into the journey. This authentic account of Russian-Jewish immigration to Canada during the Cold War will speak to all who have left their country or who moved far away from home.

Ella Zeltserman is a Soviet-born poet and an active member of the Edmonton poetry community. Her poems have been published in anthologies and magazines.

Ella's is an important story for all readers and she tells it with razor-sharp prose and exquisite imagery. The poems tell a story of politics and family, of leaving and arriving, of displacement and longing... [A] book that belongs in schools and classrooms, on the shelves of libraries and in homes as a treasured part of a family collection.

– Deborah Shatz, Edmonton Jewish News