“Memories Denied is an impressive and essential
work. An important contribution to
cultural memory in Europe!”
-Prof. Peter Hanenberg
“I can recommend two books that make good reading for those
wishing to get a deeper insight into the large themes of Oksanen.
I’m thinking of the works by the Estonian documentary filmmaker
and author Imbi Paju: Memories Denied and Sisters across the
Gulf of Finland. In both books she uses material from her documentary
films (2005 and 2009) bearing the same titles, but deepens the
subjects in well-documented, essayistic reflections on the sexualised
violence of the occupation and the power of propaganda over human relationships.
…one can…read the books by Oksanen and Paju in parallel,
combine the former’s dramaturgic drive with the latter’s reflective
depth. No author is an isolated island, and Finnish – and
Nordic – literature needs Imbi Paju.”
Pia Ingström is a critic and scholar, currently
Pia Ingström is a critic and scholar, head of the cultural editors at the Finland- Swedish newspaper Hufudstadsbladet.
She writes for Norwegian Newspaper Klasskampen.
“One of the best books on the history of
Estonia and the fate of its people.”
-Stefan Brunow, Arts and Culture
Journalist, Tv YleFem/Finland
Stefán Jónsson, director and professor of acting, Iceland Academy of the Arts:
“In 2011, I directed Purge by Sofi Oksanen, at Iceland´s National Theatre. When researching the work, I discovered that Oksanen had been inspired by the book, Memories Denied by Imbi Paju. I read the book and found it both overwhelming and yet beautifully honest. It´s a great testimony to the love that the author has for her mother and her homeland, for humanity. It´s how history should be written. It was essential, both for me and my fellow artists, to have such a source of knowledge and inspiration, when working on Oksanen´s Purge. My utmost respect to Imbi Paju.”
“Imbi Paju’s book opens doors onto dark rooms.” – Edward Lucas, author of The New Cold War.
“By describing the fate of her mother – arrested, imprisoned, deported to the Gulag as a young woman – Imbi Paju has, in effect, told the story of an entire nation. Widely admired in her native Estonia and elsewhere, Memories Denied could bring that country’s history alive for many others too.” – Anne Applebaum, Author of Gulag
“Memories Denied is without question one of the books that will contribute to both the knowledge and the understanding of what our Estonian sister nation and the other nations that fell under the communistic oppression after the Second World War were confronted with.” – Dag Hartelius, Ambassador of Sweden in Estonia, Svenska Dagbladet
“Imbi Paju’s book is equally impressive and neccissary. It
focuses on the denial of atrocies suffered in Estonia during
the Soviet occupation: both the unspeakable and the
unspoken. On the one hand it is about the denial of the
victim. And on the other, it is a history of perptrators and
the dark powers that followed.
Imbi Paju’s book is an important contribution to a critical
update of cultural memory in Europe. Such stories are
critical, because only they can remind us how secretly
memories can be denied.
As the author says, it is personal memories that give history
a human face. The book does, however, also reflected
on the larger story: the history of a country that aspires
to retain its independence – and has put its hopes into
the EU for freedom and security.”
Prof. Dr. Peter Hanenberg
Professor of Cultural Studies
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
“I find myself now believing that, in the spirit of Dante’s divine author genius, Imbi Paju’s books can coach us – as individual citizens, as
independent nations and members of ever growing national organisations – to grow ourselves, and to grow a moral cosmos to combat and
treat evil – repression, submission, decimation and devastation.”
-Heikki Majava, psychiatrist, psychologist and psychosemiotician, Finland
“If you don’t even try to dismantle the evilness of the past, you will undoubtedly be met by it again.” – Risto Lindstedt, Suomen Kuvalehti Journal
“The time of shame is over.” – Suvi Ahola, Helsingin Sanomat Newspaper
“As certainly as Paju believes that man can be changed, she also unwaveringly believes in the healing power of calling forward and unravelling
the nightmares of the past. Unprocessed stories breed pain; the stories which are talked of, in turn, help understand the past and avoid
evil deeds of the future.”
– Rutt Hinrikus, literary and memoir scholar, Eesti Päevaleht newspaper