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Worlds Apart Surviving identity and memory By Henry Pavlovich
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Worlds Apart is a novel about survival and a search for identity through memory. It looks at the choices forced on us and those we avoid making. It begins and ends with a fairy story told to the... More > young David Wilenski by his mother in a refugee camp in England. The adult David looks back at life in that camp, realising its taboos hide a story and pose a question over identities and the past. The protagonists are his parents: Jadwiga, transported to the Soviet Gulag under Stalin, and Wladek, taken as a slave labourer to Hitler’s Reich. Dogged by guilt, through archives and accounts prised from his reluctant parents, David reassembles the shattered smithereens of their lives. A remarkable picture emerges of ordinary people struggling through war, love, and growing up, one in the “Jerusalem of the North” – riven by antagonistic nations – the other on an idyllic rural stage that is a military colony. These are the borderlands of 20th century Eastern Europe and a refugee camp in the borderlands of the UK.< Less

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