County: Spokane County
GAP Award 2004
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Natalie Kusz received a 2004 GAP to defray living costs while continuing to research and write “Dodek: A Literary Memoir,” which tells the story of Julius “Dodek” Kusz, the author’s father, and of his childhood experience in World War II Poland. Only five when the Nazis invaded his home town in Poland, “Dodek suffered capture, imprisonment, escape and recapture, all the while, as he said later, ‘dying a little every day.’” The book begins in 1990s America when Dodek is sick and dying, this time from pulmonary fibrosis. The trauma of this gradual demise brings vivid flashbacks to old horrors, and the book is about both — Dodek’s early, slow death and his ultimate passing — including how the two experiences intertwine and inform “dying” as a theme.
On Being Invisible, Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005.
Road Song, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990.