Thinking about immigration

My publisher is starting the media marketing campaign. It is only in the UK, but the book will soon be available in other countries too.

I had my picture taken for the publisher,  and when I talked to the men in the photo shop, and when I told them what the book is about,  we realised we were all refugees.

One from Eritrea, one from, Somalia, one from Bosnia. I came from Czechoslovakia. Some of us could go back, some can’t.

I am of course a refugee, too, although I can now go back. I won’t, England is my home now.

It made me realise again how important those refugees’ contributions to the society are.

So many people working in so many professions. I worked in the British NHS- health service for 28 years, In London, we foreigners are everywhere.

I like it, but I am biased.

This a copy of the press release:

Why Didn’t They

Inspired by her own family history, Eva Hnizdo deals with themes of identity, racism and belonging as an immigrant in Britain.
You can’t ask for asylum in another country just because your mother drives you nuts, so when 19-year old Zuzana flees from communist Czechoslovakia to England in 1972, she says she just wants freedom.

Her relationship with her mother, Magda – a Holocaust survivor who lost most of her family in the concentration camps – is toxic and Zuzana finds happiness in London with a loving husband and beautiful son.

But when her mother dies, Zuzana is crushed by guilt and feels an overwhelming urge to discover more about her family’s tragic history. So, she embarks on a life-changing journey, discovers some incredible
stories and tries to answer the question which haunts her: Why didn’t they leave?

Eva Hnizdo is a Jewish Czech, born in Prague in 1953. She is the granddaughter of a man who lost his life by deciding not to emigrate in 1938, and a daughter of parents who, after surviving the Holocaust,
spent most of their adult lives under an oppressive communist regime. Eva studied medicine at Charles University in Prague and became a doctor. She escaped to the West in 1986 and obtained political asylum in the UK in 1987 with her husband and two sons. She worked as a full time GP partner at the same surgery in Watford for twenty-three years. Now retired, she spends her time writing.

Eva says, “I know from my family history that people can find themselves in a situation where their home is no longer safe. Suddenly, they don’t belong.

Their identity somehow changes. However, identity depends also on how other people see us. I emigrated from communist Czechoslovakia in 1986. I was lucky, the Cold War was still on, getting political asylum was easy for me, I was also European, white, a doctor. I felt welcome in the UK.

There are millions of people running away from famine, wars, discrimination. Most of them are not white, they are poor, sometimes not educated. They need us. The novel is about people who did leave their homeland, their reason for emigration, and the emotional price they paid as a result, but
also about the many people who chose to stay and often paid for that choice with their lives.”

RELEASE DATE: 28/09/2021
ISBN: 9781913913366 Price: £9.99
for author interviews, review or competition copies, articles, photos or extracts:
Tel: 0116 279 2299 Email: P_ILIFFE@BOOKGUILD.CO.UK
the book guild ltd, 9 priory business park, kibworth, leicester le8 0rx

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