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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Family History Laid Bare

What little Mary Carey knows of her paternal grandmother, Mary Tsun née Rudenoff, comes from a dossier prepared prior to her deportation from Canada in 1933.

What I do know, having read that file over and over, is that she had "brown hair and blue eyes." I would have thought brown eyes from her photo. There are also things about her that I wish I did not know. A doctor's report in her file describes her naked body – the flesh and blood of my ancestor – in detailed minutiae. The first time I read it, I felt the shame Mary must have felt at the time. I wanted to reach through time and cover her up with a warm blanket of Siberian sable. [Link]

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