American-born Catherine knows little of her Croatian mother’s early life. When Marijana dies of ovarian cancer, twenty-two-year-old Catherine finds herself cut off from the past she never really knew. As Catherine searches for clues to her mother’s elusive history, she discovers that Marijana was orphaned during WWII, nearly died as a teenager, and escaped from Communist Yugoslavia to Rome, and then South America. Through travel and memory, history and imagination, Catherine resurrects the relatives she’s never known. Traversing time and place, memoir and novel, this lyrical narrative explores the collective memory between mothers and daughters, and what it means to find wholeness. It is a story where a daughter gives voice to her immigrant mother’s unspoken history, and in the process, heals them both.
Author: Catherine Kapphahn’s Immigrant Daughter: Stories You Never Told Me received The Center for Fiction’s Christopher Doheny Award. Her writing has appeared in Astoria Magazine, the Feminist Press Anthology This is the Way We Say Goodbye, CURE Magazine, and SalonZine. She earned an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University and B.A. from Hunter College. Catherine is an adjunct lecturer at City University of New York at Lehman College in the Bronx, where her students’ brave stories continue to inspire her. She grew up in the mountains in Colorado and now lives between two bridges in Queens, New York with her husband and two sons.