Winning Away: Memoir by Ana Klepova
by Ana Klepova

"She reconsidered the invitation, plus her joblessness and decided to go to America and stay there."

After graduating college in her native Macedonia with a degree in sociology, and spending some time there and abroad as a political activist, Klepova found herself starting over in the United States. This short memoir is an autobiographical account of a startling array of personal challenges and obstacles, clashes and confrontations, and ups and downs as she navigates the decade of the 2010s in her new country. In a way, the cards for this book seem to have been dealt the day her father died (the book is dedicated to him) when she was only twenty-one, an event which, significantly, followed what she calls a “not so good” childhood. After an overview of her life in Macedonia, she takes the reader to America and ultimately proves that even daily struggles and emotional suffering can eventually move out of the way to allow something much more pleasant to take its place.

This intimate effort is proof positive of the power of the autobiographical format. Klepova’s story (told in the third person despite being a memoir) is at once fast-moving, relentless in its descriptions of unfairness, and has the feel of a one-on-one diatribe instead of a written reflection on a life. Therein, of course, lays its tremendous palliative value to the author, who is, without doubt, brave and resourceful for having undertaken this project in the first place. Her harrowing tale of personal and professional torment, most of it based on the deplorable actions of others, does, as she states, have a moral: anything is possible, and someone is always watching.

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