The Memoir Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants by Diane Dettmann and Miriam Kaurala Dloniak Engages Readers Across The Nation

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A family heritage preserved and woven with honesty, love and humor. Experience first hand the joys and challenges the Kaurala family faces as they carve a life out of the barren wilderness of northern Minnesota during the Great Depression.

Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants, a memoir released by Outskirts Press engages readers across the nation. Readers marvel at how the Kaurala family had the strength and courage to build a life out of the barren land of northern Minnesota in the early 1900s.

In January the book was reviewed in the The Finnish American Reporter, a monthly journal that is read through out the United States and Canada. It is published by Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan. In her review, Karen Douglas said the book is a "family treasure" that shares the family's pride in their Finnish heritage and provides historians insights into the Finnish culture.

Recently, Professor Auvo Kostiainen from the School of History in Turku, Finland invited Diane to present the book at the Finnish-American Immigrants In Transition International Seminar on Migration History in Turku, Finland in June.

FinNALA, the Finnish North American Literature Association, featured Diane Dettmann as a reader at Finn Fest 2008 in Duluth, Minnesota. The Finn Fest event launch the book into a broad community of readers.

The book also received very positive response from staff and parents at the Suomi-koulu (Finnish Language School) of Minnesota, a Finnish immersion school in Minneapolis. During a visit to the school, Diane participated in a meeting of the Board of the Twin Cities Finnish Network. The president of the Finnish American Cultural Activities, Inc. invited Diane to present her book at the International Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota. People shared many positive comments with her after the presentation as she autographed books. The Finnish American Cultural Activities, Inc. featured her on the cover of their November 2008 publication.

The Crossing Cultures Book Club at Back to Books Bookstore in Hudson, Wisconsin selected Miriam's story for their January book club. The club selects books written by women authors from different cultures. The group was intrigued by Miriam's personal story of a resourceful family committed to succeeding under challenging circumstances. They also gained insights into traditions of the Finnish culture as well as their own family's history.

Teachers have integrated the book into their social studies immigration units by reading excerpts of the book that connect to state standards. In the diverse classrooms of today, Students can identify with the Kaurala children's experiences and relate to the challenges of fitting in as children with limited English skills.

For many immigrants the journey across the Atlantic in the early 1900s took courage. Paul (Paavo) Kaurala, was born October 1, 1888 in Kiuruvesi, Finland. He arrived in Montreal in 1913 where he worked in the logging industry. Eventually he settled in Ely, Minnesota where he held a variety of jobs before going to work in the iron ore mines. Hilja Lukkarila, was born October 8, 1888 in Simo, Finland. She first came to America in 1909. After three years of working as a domestic, she returned to Finland. She met my grandfather when she sailed across the Atlantic to America again in 1913.

Miriam Kaurala Dloniak was born October 31, 1919. She left the family farm with her sister, Esther, in 1939. The two young women took the train to Saint Paul, Minnesota where Miriam attended the University of Minnesota until she graduated in 1941. As America prepared for World War II, Miriam enlisted in the Women's Army Corps, and Esther took a job at International Harvester, a company that produced materials for the war.

Diane lives in the scenic St. Croix River Valley in Afton, Minnesota. She taught in the Saint Paul Public Schools. For the last six years of her teaching career, she was a literacy coach in a school where she worked as a staff developer training teachers in the areas of reading and writing instruction. She earned her Master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota and has taught graduate level courses at the University of River Falls, Wisconsin. She is an active member of her local writers group and recently attended the La Jolla Writers Conference where she shared her work with other writers, agents and publicists. She is currently working on her memoir, Mice In The Kitchen: A Widow's Love Story.

Miriam Daughter of Finnish Immigrants can be ordered through Diane Dettmann's website at:

Retailers and Wholesalers can order at maximum trade discount set by the author in quantities of ten or more from Outskirts Press wholesale online bookstore at:


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