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SONGS FROM THE SUITCASE: Inhabiting an Inheritance by Rosanna Moseley Gore, talk and book launch by the author with Q&As

Thursday 27 June, 18:30 - 20:30

| £5 – £8

This presentation will be followed by a drinks reception. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Rosanna grew up in suburban London in the 1960s and 1970s. But her background was very much not the typical English one of that time. Her father escaped from Berlin on a Kindertransport in 1939. Her mother was Russian, born in Harbin in Manchuria in 1923.

Rosanna’s childhood and upbringing were hugely influenced by her half-Russianness, particularly because her beloved grandmother Olga Youhotsky (as her name was anglicised) lived with them, and taught her Russian as well as many, many other things.

In her book Songs from the Suitcase: Inhabiting an Inheritance, Rosanna writes about the gifts, the cultural riches and the inherited trauma that came with this family. What has it meant for how she thinks, what she believes, where she feels she belongs (or not)?

In this talk, Rosanna will bring to life her experiences of exiled Russian identity lived out in a domestic setting. She will explore the influences on her use of language, on her cooking, on her world view. She might say a bit in her very rusty Russian that never did get further than ‘O’ Level back in 1972 (though she did get an A!).

When: Thursday 27 June, 2024, 18:30-20:30
Where: Old Library, Pembroke College, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RG
Language: English
Format: Hybrid (in person and on Zoom)
Tickets: in-person £8 adults, £5 CamRuSS members and concessions; on Zoom: £5 adults, free for CamRuSS members only.
Please book via allevents.

Rosanna Moseley Gore was brought up in London by her Russian mother and grandmother, and her German Jewish father. A Cambridge University Russian Language Prize (the Olga Youhotsky, Catherine Matthews and Irene Gore Prize) is named in memory of her grandmother, aunt and mother. It is awarded annually by the Examiners for Part II of the Modern and Medieval Languages Tripos for an outstanding performance in Russian in that examination.

She inherited a huge archive of photographs, letters and documents from both sides of her family – an archive that was too painful to look at, but too precious to destroy, telling stories as it does of lost lives, lost countries and lost loved ones. With her inadequate Russian, Rosanna is beginning the long process of unlocking its secrets and is starting working on a big book about the personalities and characters she is uncovering.

Rosanna studied Geography at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and has worked since the late 1980s as an acupuncturist. She practises in Cambridge, lives in Ely, and her book about her unusual childhood and its cultural influences, Songs from the Suitcase: Inhabiting an Inheritance, just came off the press.


Thursday 27 June
18:30 - 20:30
£5 – £8
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Old Library, Pembroke College
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1RF United Kingdom
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