Cold War Author Talks about The Way It Was Then

Sep 11, 2013

In the summers of 1973 and 1974, during the cold war years, the University of Waterloo took Russian language immersion students to the Soviet Union to study the country's culture. Despite the rigorously controlled tour group, the young and eager students used their language skills to meet people-on the buses, in the cafes and on the streets – some of whom had never before spoken with a visitor from the west.

In Leningrad, one Canadian student met a discontented Russian jazz pianist who desperately wanted to leave the country. That story is told in the novel Jazz with Ella by Jan DeGrass (published by Libros Libertad).

She will be giving a talk about her visits to the USSR titled The Way It Was Then and will be reading from Jazz with Ella on Wednesday, October 2 at the University of Waterloo's Russian Thought and Culture class at 1 p.m. in the Modern Languages Building (ML349).

Admission is free, courtesy of the Writers' Union of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. All are welcome to attend.

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