Alexandra Ford’s debut novel What Remains at the End is wonderfully intelligent and hauntingly beautiful. It focuses on the largely undocumented ethnic cleansing of the former Yugoslavia’s ethnic German population, the Danube Swabians, by Tito and his partisan regime. Alternating between the late 1940s and contemporary Serbia, the story is told from the perspective of Marie Kholer who embarks on a journey to find out the truth about her grandparents’ flight to America. Ford speaks movingly of the personal stories that brought her to the book, and will answer questions from the audience about her research and how one can use the impulse to memoir as a way to weave a fictional tale of persuasive power.
Both Sides Now: Two debut historical novels 75 years on from WWII. Both Katie Munnik (The Heart Beats in Secret, Harper Collins) and Alexandra Ford (What Remains at the End, Seren Books) confront questions of family memory, the effects of emigration from post-war Europe, and the dangers--and gifts--of secrets.