‘It Tells It Like It Is’: 82-Year-Old’s New Memoir Reflects On Growing Up During WWII
'Anything for Frances' explores Menomonie resident Krista Schnabel’s life in the village, and how immigrant families like hers adjusted to life in America after the war
When Menomonie resident Krista Schnabel was a sophomore in high school, her English teacher assigned students a seemingly impossible task: Write your life story.
Inspired, Schnabel put her pen to paper and began scribbling what would later become her debut memoir, Anything for Frances. And now, more than 60 years later, the book detailing her life growing up in the small Czechoslovakian territory of Sudetenland during World War II is hitting local bookshelves.
It's all memory. I can go to any part of this book, and it's like I'm watching a movie. I can see it all over again.
AUTHOR of a new memoir
“It's just in here,” Schnabel said, tapping the side of her head. “It’s all memory. I can go to any part of this book, and it’s like I’m watching a movie. I can see it all over again.”
The process of crafting the book was a lengthy one, taking the thoughtful 82-year-old woman roughly 17 years of on-and-off to get all her memories on the page. While recalling the details of her youth was as natural as can be, reliving the horrors of World War II was traumatizing at times. But, she persisted, knowing there were lessons to be learned from her experiences.
The memoir details Schnabel’s past – what life in her village was like, how immigrant families like hers fled their homeland, offering a glimpse of life in America after the war in thorough detail.
“(It’s) an educational device,” Schnabel said of the book. “It tells it like it is.”
The book is more than historical, however; it’s emotional, as it was written in honor of Schnabel’s mother, Frances.
Steeped in themes of community, family, love, and loss, Anything for Frances is a historical memoir with a narrative spin – and one you won’t want to miss.
Snag a copy of Anything for Frances from The Local Store or visit vanessafeils.com.