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The Worm Hole Podcast Episode 67: Kristin Harmel (The Forest Of Vanishing Stars)

Charlie and Kristin Harmel (The Forest Of Vanishing Stars) discuss the true story, and Kristin’s own fictional one, of a group of over a thousand Jewish people who during WW2 slowly escaped to and hid in a vast forest away from the Nazis.

Please note that there are spoilers throughout the episode.

Quotation from Patti Callahan Henry taken from the Friends & Fiction Launch Party for The Forest Of Vanishing Stars (audio only)
The Bielski Partisans
Naliboki Forest
Nechama Tec’s Defiance
Defiance (the film)
The Sweetness Of Forgetting
The martyrs of Nowogrodeck
Vadem Sidorovich
Friends & Fiction website
Friends & Fiction Facebook group
Mary Alice Monroe
Mary Kay Andrews
Patti Callahan Henry
Kristy Woodson Harvey

Release details: recorded 12th August 2022; published 22nd August 2022

Kristin’s social media: Website || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram

You can contact the show at

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Show notes:

Question Index
Book Purchasing Links
Photo Credit Line

Question Index

01:13 As a reporter you were interested in ordinary people who were heroes and also the stories of how people got to where they were. How dd this segue into you becoming a novelist?
04:21 [Reading]
08:47 You’ve got Yona, who’s fictional, but the history is real?…
12:32 You said twelve hundred people – how on earth did they hide all that time?
15:40 One of the Bielkski brothers was a Zus, and you have a character called Zus…
18:03 Is there a reason this fact of so many people hiding in the forest isn’t well known?
23:11 Are you able to talk about the theme of stars?
27:59 Why the mysticism?
31:57 On this, what might have happened if Yona hadn’t been stolen, with her father?
35:51 Why did you feel the need to have Yona die?
42:04 You weren’t able to visit the forest to research it due to the pandemic. Do you think you might go to it at some point?
46:18 What’s next?
47:29 Tell us about your weekly web show, Friends & Fiction, and the spin-off podcast, Writer’s Block

Purchasing Links
Book Cover

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Photograph used with the permission of the author.


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