Our next book is a family chronicle wrapped up in history: the Russian revolution and civil war, two world wars and multiple migrations. The story spans three continents and more than a hundred years, covering events that confronted three generations of the author’s family.

Nathalie Apouchtine is a print and broadcast journalist and historian. She worked as a news reporter, sub-editor and producer in radio and television for the Canadian and Australian Broadcasting Corporations and Australia’s SBS. Later Nathalie turned to history, focussing on media and immigration in the twentieth century. Her research culminated in a PhD and provided the foundation for No Way Back. Nathalie was born a refugee in France and now lives in Australia.

The book brings to life fascinating and critical events of the twentieth century. It is based on personal memories, diaries, letters, interviews, photographs and an extensive archive of official documents.

Just to read the “shortened” bibliography of the book shows a little of Nathalie’s thorough historical research, and gives a glimpse of the fascinating world of Russian émigrés. That world was with me the other day when I visited the Kandinsky exhibition at Sydney’s NSW Art Gallery, which was excellently if briefly documented, enough to give an idea of the disruption of world history on one personal artistic life. Wassily Kandinsky lived most of his life outside his native Russia, but was there during the First World War and the early years of Sovietism. Later he too lived in France, like many members of the Apouchtine family.