Inara Verzemnieks is the author of the memoir, “Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe,” published by W.W. Norton. The book, which the Washington Post in a recent review called “important,” and “exquisitely written,” retraces the steps of her grandmother, a war refugee, and her great-aunt, a Siberian exile, in the wake of World War II, and recounts Verzemnieks's own journey back to the remote Latvian village where her family broke apart.
A Pushcart Prize winner and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, as well as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, she previously worked as a newspaper journalist for thirteen years.
Her essays and journalism have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Tin House, The Atlantic, The Iowa Review, and Creative Nonfiction. She is especially interested in stories that cannot be accessed unless the writer is on the ground, fully immersed in the lives she is trying to understand – stories that demand that we stay and inhabit a place until we move past seeing it simply as spectacle.
She is a graduate of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.