SUBMITTED BY ADDIE VORTHERMS for Neighborhood Extra
Lincoln author Carolyn Zeisset could not have known in 1977, when she first penned ‘Then the Rules Changed’, that Ukraine would make headlines around the world when her novel – which takes place in Ukraine – would be published.
But that’s what happened.
Eight days after the book’s release in February, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Ukrainians to be Russians and sent troops to southern Ukraine – where Zeisset’s novel begins, a story based on his great-great -dad.
“Timing is everything, but sometimes coincident timing is weird,” Zeisset recently said.
Zeisset will speak at First-Plymouth Church, 2000 D St., at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at Mayflower Hall. Its presentation is free and open to the public. Zwieback rolls, a Ukrainian sweet, will also be served. Registration is suggested by emailing [email protected]
Zeisset’s story follows the emigration of Isaac and his family from Russia in the 1870s after the Tsar declared that German-speakers in southern Russia – now Ukraine – should become Russians. The family then immigrated to the American plains, initially in Kansas, enduring the loss of the known, fear, an imaginary future and an arduous journey to America, followed by the unknown, more fear, harsh realities and of struggles towards a new life.
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“Then the Rules Changed” provides historical context between the 1870s and events in Ukraine today. Zeisset wrote the novel for college students. However, their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents read it and use it to start conversations with their children about their own family stories.
The book was published by Prairieland Press of Fremont, illustrated by Kathleen Gadeken of Panama, and is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, or by special order from Ingram. Learn more about the author and the book at carolynzeisset.com.