Four years ago my grandmother got a phone call. "Is this Grace Dawson?, the Grace Dawson?" Calling from Florida was a voice of a family member she had never met but was nonetheless inescapably tied to. Greg Dawson had set out to write the story of his mother and her sister - a story which had been partially told in our family for years. That version went as follows: As young girls Zhanna and her sister Frina were separated from their Ukrainian Jewish parents during WWII. At the end of the war the two talented musicians who were discovered by a US government official, my grandfather, himself a devoted music lover. Larry Dawson helped arrange for them to travel to the United States. They were proceeded by only a letter to my grandmother. There was a lot of speculation about the trauma the two hand endured but few detailed had survived the years.
After living for a period with my Grandmother and her young children, both girls went on to attend the prestigious Julliard school of music in New York. Zhanna eventually married Larry's brother.
Now the full heartfelt and moving story is being told; how the girls were able to survive and how music played such an important role in their survival. Greg Dawson has published Hiding In The Spotlight. As a family we could not be more proud of this story and wish Greg much success.
Greg will be in Richmond Virginia, speaking at the Library of Virginia on Friday June 18th from 6:00pm - 7:00pm to speak about his book and the increadable story of Zhanna and Frina. Details can be found on Greg's site here.