Anika Hanisch, coauthor of Don’t Say Anything to Anybody (2017), spoke to a highly engaged audience at the Big Sky Community Library on Wednesday, September 18th. The World War II memoir, which explores the childhood wartime experience of Brigitte Yearman, was the One Book Big Sky selection for Summer 2019. Celebrating this community reading program, Hanisch provided an author talk and got to connect with regional readers and fans during the September event.
“They were an incredible crowd,” Hanisch said after the event. “About halfway in, I set aside my notes because they had such engaging questions. I needed to let that dialogue unfold. It’s so exciting when that happens.”
Hanisch’s presentation provided a behind the scenes look at how writing a survival memoir affects the writer. Audience members asked questions about war trauma and healing, how Yearman’s childhood experience affected her parenting years, and why war survivors often turn silent about their experiences. “We dove in and wrestled with the big issues,” Hanisch said. “Everything from cultural complicity and post-war healing, to discerning when a survivor’s silence is healthy and when it’s not.”
Hanisch is grateful to Kathy House, the Big Sky Community Library Director, for coordinating the event and promoting the One Book Big Sky program!