Memoirs of Europe
Archived Articles 10 Mar 2006 EL (Estonian Life)EWR
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Mikko Heikinheimo, author and lecturer at the University of Sorbonne, Paris, former journalist and Finnish Ambassador, will introduce his book, "Memoirs of Europe" at a luncheon event at the National Press Club of Canada, in Ottawa on Wednesday April 5, at 12 noon. Memoirs of Europe won the European prize for francophone writers in 2004 and will be soon published in five languages. The book, which includes a chapter on Estonia, was originally published in French, but is now available in English thanks to the translation by Tõnu Onu, a long-time Ottawa Estonian.

Memoirs of Europe deals with the dramatic history of Central and Eastern Europe from the beginning of World War II until the liberation of that region from Communism. Mainly told through the accounts of individual destinies, the book also describes the author’s work as journalist, guide and diplomat who encountered a series of fascinating persons in various countries on his travels and missions, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in France and the United States of America. Mikko Heikinheimo had a unique opportunity to observe the life of the people in the Soviet Block across thirty years. This book helps the reader to understand the reasons for the sudden and final collapse of the Communist system.

In the fascinating opening section of European Memoirs titled “European Destinies” the author describes the lives of some of his friends and that of their families in an emotion-filled journey that moves from the Second World War up to today. The destinies of these very real people are often tragic. Their offspring, however, survived and have been able to follow important professional paths in their respective countries:

The chapter on Estonia is described in brief. An Estonian friend, who lost his father in a tragic accident, and who lived in exile in Sweden far from his native island, returns home and becomes a successful businessman. Through the encounters of the author with his friend, the reader obtains insights into the sad life of exiled Estonians – as well as that of their fellow countrymen under Soviet rule - and their joy in returning home. The strength of their national identity is certainly equal to those of other countries in the region.

Mikko Heikinheimo will speak on "National Identity and Integration in Europe" at the luncheon. To reserve a ticket call 613 233-5641 - admission for NPC members is $20, others $25.

The National Press Club of Canada is located at 165 Sparks St., Booth Building on the Mall, near O'Connor

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