Wealth and family privilege are 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 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.
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.