My Dead Parents by Anya Yurchyshyn

My Dead Parents

“In this beautifully written, poignant, honest, and unflinching work, the author takes readers with her on her journey through grief and discovery as she finds out – for good or ill – who her parents really were.” - Library Journal (starred review)Anya Yurchyshyn grew up in a narrow townhouse in Boston, every corner filled with the souvenirs of her parents’ adventurous international travels. On their trips to Egypt, Italy, and Saudi Ara...

Details My Dead Parents

TitleMy Dead Parents
Release DateMar 27th, 2018
PublisherCrown Publishing Group (NY)
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography

Reviews My Dead Parents

  • Julie
    My Dead Parents by: A Memoir by Anya Yurchyshyn is a 2018 Crown publication. The blurb for this book intrigued me. What would it be like to discover your parents were nothing like you thought they were? What would happen if you discovered your father’s death might have been more than a tragic accident? I confess, I did have a few preconceived notions about this book. I thought the book would be centered mainly around Anya’s investigation into...
  • Kelli
    On average I choose to abandon two books a year. This year, this is the second in a month. Both were on lists of must read books, which indicates that others really enjoyed them. I wasn’t enjoying this memoir to the point where I really didn’t want to pick it up at all. My heart hurts for the author. Very sad story but I felt like a weight was lifted when I returned it to the Library.
  • Valerity (Val)
    I found this to be a wonderfully written book about a young woman who, after her mother dies a lonely death from alcoholism, begins cleaning out her home. Going through her personal papers she comes across a pile of letters written by her parents during a time they were apart before they were married and were in different cities. Her father's parents objected to the match and were trying to keep them from seeing one another because she wasn't Ukr...
  • Michelle
    ‘My Dead Parents: A Memoir” is a deeply compelling debut, written by Anya Yurchyshyn. Anya explores her dysfunctional family history related to her parent’s marriage that ended when her father was killed while he was living and working in the Ukraine. Anya would wonder if they had ever actually loved each other, they seemed so mismatched and unhappily married. Anya found her parents love letters written in the 1970’s that revealed a deep ...
  • Nancy
    3.5Anya Yurchyshyn's book My Dead Parents takes us on her journey from a child's view of her parents, and after their deaths, discovering their secret history of love and loss.The author begins with telling us her experience growing up in a dysfunctional family. Her parents were brilliant, yet her father was judgemental and often angry, and her mother was often distant and disapproving. She was a teenager when her father moved abroad to start bus...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    Via my blog:'Ukraine sounded like a setting for a dark fairy tale that offered no magic or redemption, a place that had nothing to do with me.'It’s a strange sort of life for American born children with parents who come from other countries. The stories our parents share are nothing we can fully grasp, having never been at the mercy of losing our freedoms, yearning for a culture you had to leave behind, ou...
  • Kathleen
    This memoir begins with the author's experience growing up with her parents and her admitted lack of respect for them. She shows an unflattering part of herself and her parents that makes the first part of the book extremely compelling. After losing both of her parents by the age of 32, she begins to find letters written by her father that show a side of him she's never seen. What follows is a deep dive into her parents history to reconstruct the...
  • Karen Germain
    Thank you to Crown Publishing for providing me with a copy of Anya Yurchyshyn's memoir, My Dead Parents, in exchange for an honest review.PLOT- In her memoir, My Dead Parents, Anya Yurchyshyn examines how life shaped her parents into the people that she knew; an alcoholic mother and a tempermental father. When Yurchyshyn was a teenager, her father George, died in a tragic and suspicious car accident in the Ukraine. Her mother, Anita, feeling th...
  • Holly
    Yurchyshyn's parents were troubled persons who died tragic deaths (apart). She's not really sad about this (her words), but later discovers that they might have been interesting people. Perhaps I just didn't care for the authorial voice, but I found her insights more irritating than profound or revelatory.
  • Danielle Mootz
    Okay so. I had just received this book when my father fell very ill and was brought home in hospice care. I began reading it after he passed on Christmas Day. There is little similarity between the relationship Anya had with her parents but so much in common as I navigated my grief by seeking to understand who my father was before me. As Anya sought answers from the Ukraine, I sought answers from the shores of Vietnam revealing my father's time t...
  • Sue Dix
    I am reviewing an ARC of this memoir. This is about Anya and her tumultuous relationship with her parents and her complete dissociation from them. After their deaths, as she is clearing her mother’s house, she learns about her parent’s life together and has to rethink everything about them and her relationship with each of them. It is at times, gut wrenching, but always engaging.
  • Katya Kazbek
    I like it when narratives offer distance. To me, not enough time has passed and not enough therapy hours have been clocked in by Yurchyshyn to make her a good narrator of this story. There is too much trauma in the way she tells it, and too much space dedicated to her figuring out if she should perceive her flawed parents as humans or not. On a human level, I understand and relate, coming from a dysfunctional family myself. But this does not make...
  • Maudaevee
    This was so intriguing and intimate, everything I want in a memoir.
  • Sarah
    This was not what I expected. It's a little different as far as memoirs go. It's kind of a autobiography with a little bit of history thrown in. After the death of her mother, Anya finds love letters written by her parents to each other. She begins to reconsider how she see's her parents. Instead of viewing them as just her parents, she begins to view them as people, with desires, fears, and goals for the future. She had a difficult childhood, wh...
  • Jill Meyer
    Why do people chose to write memoirs? After many years of reading memoirs, I come to believe that the authors are trying to understand their lives and the people and events in them. That's certainly the case of Anya Yurchyshyn and her remarkable parents, George and Anita, who died and left Anya and her sister with questions that seemingly had no answers. "Remarkable" people are not easy to live with. In Anya's case, her father George had fled Ukr...
  • Chaitra
    Anya Yurchyshyn makes no bones about the fact that her parent's deaths did not affect her. Her dad was a mostly absent parent who had a horrible temper when he was present, her mother an alcoholic who said nothing to her husband when he crossed the line with his daughter. This I thought brave - it's easy to think that your parents are toxic, it's hard to actually put it out there in front of judging audiences. I didn't particularly like the rest ...
  • Barbara Schoenfeld
    I was excited to read this book after hearing Anya speak about it at Point Street Reading Series in Providence, Rhode Island. The basic premise intrigued me -- after her mother died, she discovered a collection of letters her parents had written to each other when they were young and in love. I also have a collection of such letters, and am getting to know my parents, so I was curious how Anya would handle the story. Her book is a masterful telli...
  • Lauren
    My mother, Anita, died in her sleep in 2010... the official cause of death was heart failure, but what she really died from was unabashed alcoholism, the kind where you drink whatever you can get your hands on, use your bed as a toilet when you can't make it to the bathroom, and cause so much brain damage you lose the ability to walk unsupported. The cause of her death was herself, and her many problems. The month after she died, I began cleaning...
  • Deb
    Thank you to First To Read and Penguin Random House for the ARC of My Dead Parents. I love memoirs, however, I did not even like this one. I couldn’t connect with Anya who seemed really disrespectful growing up but at the same time judging her parents. Sure they did plenty wrong but so did she. Because I couldn’t connect or even like the author, I didn’t care about her parents stories one little bit. I felt it was poorly written and a mess ...
  • Jane LaFazio
    The author cared about her parents lives more than I did.
  • Janilyn Kocher
    My Dead Parents is a memoir written by the youngest daughter. She describes a childhood inundated with a demanding, largely absentee father and a mother increasingly spiraling into extreme alcoholism. After both parents' deaths, the author pieces together the story of her parents' lives, their marriage, and begins to see and comprehend more than she had before. In the end, I think she made peace with the difficulties of her past and came to accep...
  • Kate
    A really beautiful book. Grateful to have read it.
  • Rebecca
    The author’s Ukrainian father, a banker, died in a car accident in 1994; her mother, once the volunteer International Vice President of the Sierra Club, died of complications of alcoholism in 2010. When she thought back to her parents’ life together, she remembered photos and souvenirs they brought back from her father’s business travels in Africa and the Middle East. But after their deaths, when she read their early love letters, she felt ...
  • Carolyn Chambers
    Thanks to First to Read for access to a pre-publication galley of My Dead Parents. The first 1/3 of the memoir was difficult to read as Anya describes growing up with her verbally/emotionally abusive father George and her neglectful alcoholic mother Anita. Unsurprisingly, Anya’s dysfunctional upbringing results in her becoming a sullen, challenging teenager who rejects her parents in retaliation for their treatment of her. I initially found it ...
  • Meag McKeron
    Anya’s search for who her parents were outside of her own lens as their daughter was both well-written and fascinating. Her journey to get to know her parents after their deaths leads to a discovery that I think many children should take to heart - that parents have lives outside of being parents and that as children, we often don’t see this until we grow older. Unfortunately for Anya, her parents died before she could come to this realizatio...
  • Tiffany
    Anya's childhood in Boston was anything but pleasant. Her father, George traveled constantly, living in foreign countries but she remembers him primarily distant and abusive before his death in the Ukraine by car accident. Her mother, Anita, an alcoholic who turned the notch up on her use after her husband's death, seemed indifferent to her children at best, resentful and demeaning as only some of the worst. Following Anita's death, Anya takes o...
  • Darcysmom
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. As children we grow up thinking we know our parents. Of course we know them, we know them through the lens of our own childhood experiences. But do we really know them? This is the very question the author sets out to answer in the book My Dead Parents.After her mother's death, Anya takes on the task of cleaning out her mother's house. Amongst the old clothes...
  • Naina
    Thank you to First to Read for my free galley copy of My Dead Parents; I greatly appreciate it. I enjoyed Anya Yuchyshyn's memoir, which follows her through her journey of getting to know her parents after both of their deaths. After Anya's mother passes away, in part due to her alcoholism, Anya begins going through her parents' things and discovers journals, photographs, and love letters that she had never seen, containing information that was n...
  • Debra Pawlak
    I received an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) from in return for a fair review. Unfortunately, this book was not my cup of tea, but it did have its redeeming qualities--especially near the end. As children, we often see our parents through narrow tunnel vision. We don't see them as distinct individuals with dreams, desires and personalities outside of our own perspective. This book is a good reminder that parents are people, too--not jus...