Praise for Mirel’s Daughter

“In Mirel’s Daughter Kay Gill tells the story of a ten-year-old girl’s remarkable survival and escape to America during the brutal, random, murderous pogroms that swept Russia at the end of  World War I. That the girl never lost hope is a tribute to the human spirit worthy of Anne Frank. That the girl was Kay Gill’s mother— ‘a single drop of rain clinging to a leaf ‘ —adds unforgettable tenderness to an ultimately uplifting story.”

-Bob Hill, Metro Columnist for “The Courier-Journal,” author of  ”Double Jeopardy”

“Mirel’s Daughter is a touching and soulful addition to the tradition of Jewish immigrant literature. Dramatically suspenseful and emotionally rich, it reminds us yet again how treasured are the stories of our forebears, whatever their origins, how fervent, for many, their hopes and dreams.”

-Roy.Hoffman, author of  ”Chicken Dreaming Corn”

“In beautiful, vivid language, Kay Gill tells the haunting story of a young girl who loses her family death by death in the pogrom massacres of Ukranian Russia.  Set historically just after World War I, when the Germans were withdrawing, the Communist revolution beginning and gangs of nationalist and tsarsist bandit’s rampaging through Jewish villages, Mirel’s Daughter chronicles what it was like for the Jews of the Ukraine as they endured the prototype of the ethnic extermination to come.  A valuable addition to the great witness literature of the twentieth century, Kay Gill’s skillfully woven novel is a testament to the human spirit.”

-Julie Brickman, author of “What Birds Can Only Whisper”

Journey of “Mirel’s Daughter”

by Warren Buckler, Special to the “Courier-Journal”mirel_spine2

To those of us who grew up in the relative stability of 20th Century America, the events that uprooted and shattered the lives of tens of millions of people across eastern Europe during those years seem almost unimaginable.

From the break-up of the Tsarist empire just after World War I, the historical moment in which Louisville author Kay Gill’s new novel is set, until well into the 1980s, that blood-soaked region found little relief from chaos, revolution, mass murder, war and the dead hand of totalitarian oppression.   READ MORE


Recent Books by IU Alumni

Indiana Alumni Magazine

It’s a very long way from the banks of the Zdwiza River in Ukraine to Bloomington, Ind.

Kay Baldwin Gill’s mother, Sonia Turbowskia, BA’32, began that journey as a child in 1919, when a murderous pogrom forced her family out of their Ukrainian home. Gill, BA’57, has retraced Sonia’s footsteps in her first novel, Mirel’s Daughter. The story is almost unbearably painful. Sonia was raped by bandits, was forced to abandon her dying mother in a field, and watched her sister die of typhus and starvation just as they reached the relative safety of Kiev.  READ MORE


A Compelling Reason to Write

An exclusive Authorlink interview with Kay Gill, Author of Mirel’s Daughter (Fleur-de-Lis Press, 2006)
by Ellen Birkett Morris, August 2006

Every once in a while a writer encounters a story so compelling that he or she is driven to capture it on the page. Such was the case for freelance writer Kay Gill when she finally heard the full story of her mother’s turbulent past during the pogroms against the Jews following World War I in the Ukraine.   READ MORE


Book Comes from a Lifetime of Listening

By John Carlson

Some writers spend years looking for a compelling story on which to base their first novel.

Kay B. Gill, the author of Mirel’s Daughter, spent a lifetime listening to hers, the harrowing but inspiring tale of her mother Sonia Turbowskia’s girlhood experiences fleeing the murderous Jewish pogroms in Ukraine following World War I.  READ MORE


Local author relives her mom’s journey to freedom in ‘Mirel’s Daughter’

by Mary Alan Woodward, The Voice Tribune

Kay Gill, a native of Muncie, Ind., who now lives in Pewee Valley, has given a clear, well-written account of her mother’s harrowing trek from terror to freedom in the just-published “Mirel’s Daughter” (Fleur-de-Lis Press).   READ MORE