Marokvia, Mireille 1908-2008 (Mireille Journet, Mireille Journet Marokvia)

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Marokvia, Mireille 1908-2008 (Mireille Journet, Mireille Journet Marokvia)

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for SATA sketch: Born December 7, 1908, in France; died October 19, 2008, in Las Cruces, NM. Teacher, translator, children's writer, and memoirist. Marokvia worked as a teacher in Paris, France, and as a translator in Nazi Germany before she and her husband came to the United States in 1950. In the United States, except for a brief period as a dressmaker and costume design assistant, she worked as a writer. Marokvia wrote a few children's stories in the 1960s, usually illustrated by her artist husband, Artur Marokvia. For the next thirty years she contented herself with home duties, but the death of her husband prompted her to resume work on a memoir that she had begun many years before. Immortelles: Memoir of a Will o' the Wisp (1996) was well received as the enchanting story of a carefree childhood in the security of a French village before the horrors of World War II changed the author's life forever. Sins of the Innocent: A Memoir (2006) tells the story of those horrors as Marokvia experienced them. Trapped in Germany as the wife of a German national conscripted to serve (reluctantly) in the Wehrmacht (German Army), she was forced to fend for herself in a country where her motives were often regarded with suspicion. Marokvia kept a diary of those years, which she destroyed in 1944 out of fear of the Gestapo. She later told an interviewer that the second memoir was the harder one to write. There were memories, she commented, that her conscious mind simply did not want to revive. Marokvia persisted because she wanted readers to understand what life was like in those days, and her efforts were rewarded by the approval of critics who praised her perception and lack of bias. Marokvia was determined to write for the rest of her life, despite occasional difficulties, and that is reportedly what she did. Some short stories and autobiographical vignettes remained uncollected at the time of her death.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

BOOKS

Marokvia, Mireille, Immortelles: Memoir of a Will o' the Wisp, MacMurray & Beck (Denver, CO), 1996.

Marokvia, Mireille, Sins of the Innocent: A Memoir, Unbridled Books (Denver, CO), 2006.

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2008, p. B9.

New York Times, October 27, 2008, p. B9.

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