Memorial Hall Library

An Evening with Author Tara Lynn Masih

Tara Masih

My Real Name is HannahAward-winning author, Tara Lynn Masih, will share her debut YA historical fiction novel, My Real Name is Hanna, which won a Florida Book Award, a Skipping Stones Honor Award and the Foreword INDIES Gold Medal in Historical Fiction. Copies will be available for purchase, courtesy of Andover Bookstore. Door prizes will include two literary goodie bags.

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele—and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him—and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive. Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, My Real Name Is Hanna celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit. Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray.

Tara Lynn Masih has won multiple book awards in her role as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. She is also author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories and Founding Series Editor for The Best Small Fictions annual anthology. Her award-winning fiction, poetry, and prose has been heavily anthologized. She grew up on Long Island's north shore, in the small harbor town of East Northport. After graduating from C.W. Post College, she moved to Boston and earned an MA in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College, where she taught freshman composition and grammar and tutored students with writing problems. She has worked as a publisher's assistant to Pym-Randall Press; as an assistant editor to STORIES literary magazine; as an editorial assistant at Little, Brown's college division; and as a book editor at Bedford Books/St. Martin's Press, and was a freelance book packager, copyeditor, and proofreader for such companies as Houghton Mifflin, Ballantine Books, and Harvard University Press for over 30 years. Tara has published fiction, poetry, essays, profiles, and articles (ConfrontationThe Caribbean WriterHayden's Ferry ReviewThe Los Angeles ReviewPleiadesFive PointsNatural Bridge), and her essays have been read on NPR.