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non-fiction

The book cover of The Persian Blanket

The Persian Blanket

Tim Chappell and Janina Milek
ISBN:1 92073 144 X
RRP: $24.95

I got issued a blanket in Persia and that was fifty-four years ago and I still use it.

I was intrigued, Do you still have it here?

Ya, it is still here, and she went to get it.

I should have known. Janina had never thrown anything away…she returned with a heavy, dark grey army blanket, the same type that was used on Rottnest Island in our holiday cottage.

It is good, she said simply.

— an extract from The Persian Blanket

The Persian Blanket is the story of Janina Milek. Born in Poland in 1920, Janina was transported with her family in 1940 to Siberia where she worked in labour camps for nearly two years. From there she spent eight years in refugee camps in Uzbekistan, Persia (Iran), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and finally Tanganyika (Tanzania). In 1950 Janina arrived in Western Australia - she was thirty years old and alone.

When Janina Milek first stepped into Tim Chappell’s life they formed an instant bond that deepened as the young Tim became enthralled by the stories Janina told of her remarkable life. In The Persian Blanket Tim has intertwined Janina’s life stories with poignant, often hilarious memories he has of growing up with her. What emerges is a tender portrait of a woman who, despite numerous setbacks, never faltered in facing the arbitrariness of life with tremendous courage and resilience.

The Persian Blanket is a truly inspiring story of a remarkable woman.



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