March 28, 2016
I did only workshops with older people who were writing their life stories in Winnipeg for a decade from the late 1980s to the late 1990s.
Many of these people, who became authors of self-published books, were motivated to write because their children or grandchildren wanted to know how someone of an older generation in their families lived when they were children, young people and heading into their old age.
I believe everyone should leave something on paper or computer file for the generations to follow. Someone and possibly many people will be satisfied to read your memoirs. Reading about what happened to human beings in the past, helps us feel anchored in the present and helps us navigate into the future.
Reading about what family members before us did, helps us know the tribe from which we come and whose footsteps, in our ancestry, that we are following. We belong and our life takes on more meaning.
I was excited when many of the wonderful people, I coached in writing about their liveswhe, produced books. I was even more delighted when one of them self-published a second book to celebrate in her old age.
This is the review I wrote about it:
Prairie Fire Review of Books (online)
Review by Tanya Lester
Come Walk with Me — I’ll tell you a Story by Anne Caroline Yanchyshyn. Winnipeg, 2000. ISBN 0-9687259-0-2, 290 pp. $15.95 paper.
The rise of computer technology and the decline of publishing houses due to government grant shrinkage has attracted an increasing number of talented writers to self-publishing. Couple this with a growing interest in life story writing and reading public can look forward to more books like Anne Caroline Yanchyshyn’s Come Walk with Me — I’ll tell you a Story.
Yanchyshyn’s offering is a collection of essays (many previously published in Winnipeg newspapers and one aired on CBC-TV) with the oomph to keep the reader’s nose glued to the book. Yet the strength is in the writing and not, as the title suggests, in the telling.
The retired English teacher comments on how the study of our language has “baffled — and intrigued” (p.3) her from grade school in Manitoba’s Interlake community of Meleb to her present life in St. Vital, a Winnipeg suburb. Yanchyshyn has ultilized her second language to sort through several poignant memories hinging on her Ukrainian and Polish cultural background. Many of these events have stayed with her to the present day, and reveal fascinating aspects of the human condition and psyche. An example is the author’s relationship with her older sister.
In a letter Yanchyshyn wrote in the 1980s to her deceased older sister, she recalled receiving news through the post from this sibling. “You wrote it in Ukrainian. I was nine and desperate to know what you had said. So Mother showed me how to read and write Cyrillic, and we were in touch again.” (p. 15)
Through the years, her sister’s death continues to haunt her. It is not until Yanchyshyiln’s son goes through medical school that he suspects the illness that led to his aunt’s demise was misdiagnosed. Yanchyshyn’s search for the facts in 1997 confirmede her son’s theory and somehow her sister’s death was finally put to rest.
References to death are frequent in this book, but they occur in essays celebrating the lives of people important to the author. In this way, the pieces reflect the twists and turns in all of our lives.
Come Walk with Me has a little bit of everything including the lighter side of living. Sections of the book focus on the author’s relationship to education, parenting, fashion, travel, and nature, while other sections include reviews of artistic performances that she attended.
As with her previous compilation, MPC Flashbacks, Yanchyshyn was meticulous in putting the professional touches on this book. The cover photographs of the author — one of her as a young woman and the other of her with her two grandchildren — are stunning. Inside, the photographs are also a delight to peruse. The detailed Table of Contents is a researcher’s dream come true. This is a life story done with elegance and grace.
To learn about Tanya — her work as an intuitive counsellor, her books, how to get a psychic reading from her or get her to house sit for you– go to teareading.wordpress.com or to her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-538-0086