Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium

Category: Book
By (author): Kostash, Myrna
Series: Wayfarer
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General
  RELIGION / Christianity / Orthodox
Audience: general/trade
Awards: Runciman Award - Shortlisted (2011)
Alberta Book Awards - Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction (2011)
Publisher: The University of Alberta Press
Published: September 2010
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 0.80in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A deep-seated questioning of her inherited religion resurfaces when Myrna Kostash chances upon the icon of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica. A historical, cultural and spiritual odyssey that begins in Edmonton, ranges around the Balkans, and plunges into a renewed vision of Byzantium in search of the Great Saint of the East delivers the author to an unexpected place-the threshold of her childhood church. An epic work of travel memoir, Prodigal Daughter sings with immediacy and depth, rewarding readers with a profound sense of an adventure they have lived. This book will appeal to readers interested in Ukrainian-Canadian culture, the Eastern Church, and medieval history, as well as to fans of Kostash's bold creative nonfiction.
From The Publisher*A geographical, historical, and spiritual odyssey by a master of creative nonfiction.
Review Quote*"The slow recovery from the hubris of Western Civilization must include a reconsideration of Byzantine culture. Prodigal Daughter, with its perspective of personal exploration adds something new and different." John-Paul Himka, Professor in History and Classics, University of Alberta
Review Quote*"Myrna Kostash sets out to discover and explore the roots of Canadian-Ukrainian culture and religious essence in the ancient world of the Byzantine Empire. This brings her to a scholarly investigation of her own intricate linkage and debt to the world of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Prodigal Daughter is at one and the same time an anthropological, cultural, and religious quest on two levels: the personal, autobiographical and the wider sociological and cultural. It is both deeply spiritual and intellectually satisfying." Tom Harpur, author, journalist, TV host
Review Quote*"Part spiritual quest, part scholarly inquiry, part travel memoir, Prodigal Daughter is as richly layered as the civilization [Kostash] explores. A self-described secular humanist, Kostash nevertheless has a deep interest in the Orthodox Church, and the result is an intellectually vigorous study.... The journey itself, like many quests that writers undertake for self-examination and reflection, is more important than reaching conclusions.... The award-winning Kostash...weaves all of her themes of religion, Byzantine and Slavic history and the diversity of the Balkans into an engrossing and richly informative story." Cheryl Purdey, The Edmonton Journal, January 8, 2011
Review Quote*"...a travel memoir with a blend of creative non-fiction.... [H]ighly recommended." Midwest Book Review
Review Quote*
Review Quote*"Kostash gives an historical account of the way that Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbians and Macedonians have fought for possession of Demetrius. The writing is lively, told through interviews, mythological descriptions of the saint, and visits to ancient churches. But this is not the crux of Prodigal Daughter. The intellectual journey ends with the chapter 'Lord, have Mercy.' Talking to an icon painter, Kostash suddenly discovers that her quest is not intellectual, but spiritual. She wants transcendence; she wants to be moved by a force from outside herself. The second half of Prodigal Daughter explores this spiritual side of her journey.... [D]espite the richness of the old world, Kostash is not yet spiritually at home. Instead, it is in the moving epilogue that she brings her journey to conclusion." Jeff Stepnisky, New Trail, Winter 2011
Review Quote*"Prodigal Daughter, A Journey to Byzantium provides a fine historic narrative of one woman's journey through the Balkans as she searches for the real Demetrius. Questioning her inherited religion, she embarks upon a personal and spiritual journey that begins in Canada and takes her to the Balkans. History, memoir and travelogue blend in a vivid personal journey of discovery." California Bookwatch, The Travel Shelf, March 2011