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CC@H Guest Speakers Series: Turning Family Stories into a Historical Novel with Christine Kessides

Christine Fallert Kessides, the local author of the recently-published debut novel Magda, Standing will discuss how she took fragments of family lore to create a well-grounded story of German immigrants in the era of the Great War and the Spanish flu--learning the craft of the novel and historical fiction research methods along the way.

After reviewing her family genealogy and reflecting on some of her relatives’ history as German immigrants, Christine was inspired to write Magda, Standing—a novel that may resonate with multiple generations – seniors who may recall their own grandparents talking about WWI, while younger audiences may relate to the teenage protagonist. The story takes place in Pittsburgh in the years 1916-1919. It centers around a 16 year-old girl, Magda, who has to leave school to care for her ill mother and little brother. Faced with the looming Great War and a global pandemic (Spanish flu), Magda embarks on a journey of self-discovery that leads her back to embracing her family and caring for a wider community.

Christine was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She attended college at Northwestern University and graduate school at Princeton. She had a career as a policy analyst for the World Bank, with a focus on infrastructure and urban development. Since retirement she has served on the board and as grant committee co-chair for Giving Together, a philanthropic group of women who pool funds and make grants to nonprofits in the DC Metro area that support women and families in need. In her spare time, she especially enjoys reading, travel, yoga, and sharing books with friends. She lives in Chevy Chase Village with her husband, and sees their four children, grandchildren, and granddogs as often as possible. Christine comes from a long line of German immigrants, and interest in their history inspired her to write this story. Magda, Standing is her first novel.

Via Zoom, free, and open to all. Register in advance to receive the Zoom link.
Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Cristen Sargent
Village Events
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Washington Area Villages Exchange
P.O. Box 7464
Alexandria, VA 22307-0464