One family, five nationalities
"Reminiscent of Dylan Thomas's memoir A Child's Christmas in Wales, A River of Oranges trades Thomas's simpler, more innocent era for a darker time of war, refugee camps, loss and uncertainty. Nazarko's fluid prose triggers our senses as he immerses us in the sights, sounds, smell and tastes of his childhood and his family's exodus from the Adriatic city of Fiume after it became part of Yugoslavia. Intelligent. Evocative. Captivating."
--Tricia Dower, author of Silent Girl, Stony River and Becoming Lin
From a boisterous extended Italian family living under one roof, the Nazarko family became “displaced persons” at the end of World War II. For four years the family moved from one refugee camp to another, before immigrating to Canada in 1951. With few possessions and little money, Elsa and Vlado still managed to forge a good childhood for their three sons. This memoir is a testament to their resourcefulness and devotion. At its heart, A River of Oranges is a love letter from one man to his father – full of forgiveness, shining with joy, and brimming with tender gratitude
Nazarko’s narrative, often concentrated in providing us with as much information as possible, reaches its most beautiful moments in the little spots of deep lyricism dedicated to just a few events of his youth.
Often in balance between clear storytelling and surprising moments of delicate vulnerability.
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