"I love the writing: the honesty of it, the search that is always there, the courage to face hard truths and at the same time imagine others’ lives with compassion." Elizabeth Smither
"A Hungarian exile of 1956 with a gift for poetry reflects on a Budapest childhood during World War Two. A complex family spanning the spectrum of Jews, peasants and urban middle class, plus the day-to-day struggle for survival in wartime, make for a memoir which takes us outside the present consumer culture into the heart of an authentic New Zealand artist." Paul Maunder
"Reading this book has made me smile and weep. I love the way it draws us into the world of childhood with a child’s view of events. The writing is elegant and spirited, evoking strong images and emotion. It is the type of book a reader delights in reading and re-reading; dipping into passages for reflection, for the joy of wonderful writing and for the experiences it portrays." Paddy Richardson
"A remarkable memoir from a remarkable life. Powerful poetry and vivid prose unite in one woman’s undertaking to engage the past. The written word punches out at you from every page, taking the reader on a grand tour of events that shaped the last century." Dana Wensley
Panni Palásti was born in Budapest and educated there. She entered the United States as a refugee after the defeat of the 1956 Hungarian revolution and continued her studies in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. She worked as a teacher and journalist in California before sailing with her husband and son to New Zealand in 1973. She lived in Russell for 28 years where she started the Russell Writers’ Workshop and founded and edited Russell Review for two decades before moving to the South Island. She has been writing poems since first grade. Her work has been published in Europe, the United States and in New Zealand.