About the Author
Ron Vossler, a humanities scholar, free-lance writer, and University of North Dakota writing teacher, is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and fellowships. In 1999, in competition against historical documentary films produced by ABC, NBC, HBO, and the Discovery Channel, his documentary filmscript for The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe/Children of the Prairie received the highest honor, the Telly Award, as "one of America's best documentary films."
Vossler has authored seven books, five documentary film-scripts, and his articles, fiction, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous journals, magazines, newspapers, anthologies, as well as on humanities and public education web-sites, and on North Dakota Public Radio. His most recent documentary film, We'll Meet Again in Heaven, is based on his book of the same title, which has received national scholarly attention as "an important new work." Casting light on the genocide of Ukrainian and German villagers by the Soviet regime, the film draws on ten years of research and premiered on Prairie Public Television in July 2007.
Acknowledged as an internationally renowned expert on Germans from Russia, Vossler is a resident of East Grand Forks, Minnesota.
Dakota Kraut: Collected Notes on How I Learned to Love My Accent and My Ancestry, 1983-2003
Dakota Kraut brings together twenty years of the author's publications in magazines, journals, newspapers, and websites. Included are also a radio-play, two poems, and one of the author's nationally award-winning documentary film-scripts. This collection is a must read for anyone interested in evocative writing about ethnicity, memory, and a small-town prairie past. The book begins with a poetic prologue, "God's Eye," given that title for the highest window on a grain elevator which overlooks the author's mid-century childhood home in small town Dakota; and ends with an epilogue which brings readers back to that grain elevator, as the author understands how his prairie hometown has become, "My Russia": "a place I can't forget, nor find again."
Primarily fact, but with "some exaggerations," as the author admits in his introduction, this rich, wide-ranging book is a welcome addition for any reader seeking to understand the Germans from Russia ethnic group who settled in the U.S. between 1881 and 1914, and whose descendants now comprise at least 35 percent of North Dakota's population. Dakota Kraut is a rumination on the fast-disappearing world of the prairie Germans in Dakota: it is also a literary work with power and grace and insight into the human heart, even if the heart is an ethnic one.