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Author Spotlight: Ellen Korman Mains

by Vervante •

We're constantly amazed by the clever, unique, brilliant and beautiful books and products our customers create. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellen Korman Mains, teacher, writer, and author of “Buried Rivers: A Spiritual Journey into the Holocaust.”

Trained by the late Tibetan Buddhist master, Chögyam Trungpa, Ellen has led meditation retreats in North America and Europe, and enjoys working with groups and individuals to deepen compassionate self-awareness. Born and educated in Montreal, she lives in Boulder, Colorado and travels often to Poland to engage with her family history while forging new friendships and promoting dialog.

The story behind Ellen’s book

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

My book is a memoir that was inspired by some extraordinary experiences I had beginning in 2005. I had always had an interest in writing, but never a strong enough motivation.  This time, the story seemed so important that I had to tell it.  None of it was fabricated, but I had to learn how to tell it.

Q: What advice would you give for other aspiring authors?

For your writing to be meaningful to both yourself and others, take a deep plunge into whatever area you choose to write about. Don't be afraid to take some risks. But then be sure to get lots of honest feedback, not just from your friends, but other writers, editors, and teachers of the craft. Take time to breathe, reassess, and weigh their feedback. Be wickedly determined and don't give up!

Q: What do you love about your book?

What I love about my book is that it became a mirror and companion for me while I was working on it, and now I love the fact that others are moved by it and it's actually making a difference in their lives.

About “Buried Rivers: A Spiritual Journey Into the Holocaust”

To the chagrin of her parents—Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust—Ellen Korman Mains became a Buddhist at 19, nearly tearing her family apart. Over three decades later, on a German train, she felt the presence of spirits who died in the Holocaust. Their question "How can you still believe in basic goodness?" sent her on a series of life-changing journeys to Poland to find the answer.

Beyond recovering her own family's lost history, "Buried Rivers" explores family loyalty and religious boundaries, and demonstrates how healing, opportunity, and magic can emerge from the densest suffering. This compelling memoir includes an Auschwitz survivor account by the author’s uncle.

According to Kirkus Reviews, "(Buried Rivers) provides a fresh take not only on the Holocaust, but also the proper response to the seemingly inerasable stain left by profound anguish. …A moving and original contribution to an inexhaustible body of literature.

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Learn more about Ellen’s book here:

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