Ancient Furies


Ancient Furies

A Young Girl's Struggles in the Crossfire of World War II

Anastasia V. Saporito
With Donald L. Saporito

392 pages


February 2014


$34.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

February 2014


$34.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Wealth and family privilege are no match for the brutal forward march of two armies intent on eliminating each other. As a teenager, Anastasia Saporito discovered that truth as she and her family found themselves exiled, vulnerable, and no longer able to call on their social standing and accumulated riches as the Soviet and German armies converged during World War II.
Saporito recounts in vivid detail the difficulties of her childhood as the daughter of White Russian aristocrats forced to flee their native Russia for refuge in Yugoslavia. In Ancient Furies Saporito skillfully depicts her family, her own struggles as a girl coming of age in war-torn central Europe, and the devastation incurred as a result of Nazi actions toward civilian populations of occupied countries. Personal recollections form the basis of this memoir, but the trials and tribulations faced by this young woman shed light on the often-hidden experiences of the once-wealthy elite of central and eastern Europe as the Nazi war machine tore much of that region asunder. Through the words of her teenage self, Saporito brings a different civilian experience of World War II into the open.

Author Bio

ANASTASIA V. SAPORITO was born in 1928 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her father was a White Russian army officer and her mother was the daughter of the pre-revolution general governor of Ukraine. Anastasia taught conversational Russian at Dartmouth College while earning a graduate degree. DONALD L. SAPORITO was married to Anastasia for almost fifty years. He served with the library at Dartmouth College and as library director at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Donald and Anastasia worked together on this book, and he completed it after her death.


"A beautifully written memoir with a spellbinding immediacy."—Kirkus

Ancient Furies is an utterly fascinating account of the plight of White Russians during World War II told by a new and riveting witness. In gorgeous language, through the eyes of an exceptionally gifted girl, the reader learns what it was to grow up in privilege in Russia and Yugoslavia, to be tutored in five languages by nurturing nuns, and then to have one’s family torn asunder as the German and Soviet armies roar into action. This beautifully composed work is a wonderful companion volume to that of Anne Frank—a rich story of the wartime experiences of an observant and sensitive young woman. Saporito’s is a voice of both grace and power. All who open the pages of this remarkable book will find themselves enthralled.”—Sara Mansfield Taber, author of Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter

Table of Contents

Foreword                                                           000

Acknowledgments                                          000

1. The Early Years                                           000

2. School Days                                                000

3. War Clouds                                                 000

4. Childhood Ends                                          000

5. The Move to Dedinye                                 000

6. Life in Dedinye                                           000

7. Adolescence Ends                                      000

8. War Comes to Belgrade                              000

9. The Destruction of Belgrade                      000

10. Invasion                                                    000

11. Occupation                                                000

12. Jovan                                                         000

13. Kolya                                                        000

14. Roach Manor                                            000

15. Farewell, My Belgrade                             000

16. Maria and Rosa                                         000

17. Hans von Staate                                        000

18. The Labor Camps                                      000

19. Brutality and Murder                                000

20. The Price of Liberation                             000

21. Blankenburg am Harz                               000

22. Hamburg                                                   000

23. Frankfurt                                                   000

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