Hiding in the Spotlight by Greg Dawson

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For Immediate Release

Contact: Diane Morrow

800.927.1517 or dmorrow@tbbmedia.com

Hiding in the Spotlight—A Story of Survival

The extraordinary story of a young girl

whose musical genius enables her to survive the Holocaust

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX —Berdyansk, Ukraine 1931: By the age of six, Zhanna has developed the repertoire of a student twice her age, has been given her first public performance, and has been offered scholarships to the most prestigious conservatories in the Soviet Union, some of which have produced legends like Rachmaninoff and Horowitz.  Then, disaster strikes.  The Nazi Army is smashing through the Ukraine en route to Moscow.  Zhanna and her family are to be executed alongside thousands of others in the ravines of Drobitsky Yar.  A few short miles from certain death, she escapes into the forest with only the clothes on her back and a copy of Chopin’s Fantasy Impromptu in her pocket. 

Adopting a new identity and ever fearful of recognition, Zhanna roams the ravaged countryside.  One lonely evening, the head of a local Nazi battalion hears her play and is so taken with her exquisite talent that little Zhanna soon becomes the performing darling of the Nazi forces.  A nocturne on the strength of the human spirit, Zhanna’s story is powerful, haunting, and unforgettable.

This amazing biography describes the journey and survival of the family of journalist Greg Dawson, a story that was hidden and unspoken for over 40 years.  Dawson’s mother and her sister were Ukrainian piano prodigies who escaped the death march that claimed their parents and grandparents and survived by masquerading as non-Jews while serving as entertainers for the unwitting Nazis.  After the war, they came to America and were the first Holocaust survivors to study at Juilliard.

“A true pleasure.  The story is unflinching not only in its tales of turmoil and peril, but in its unstinting and never-failing sense of pride, survival, and utter joy that can only be the fruit of musical love.” 

Christopher O’Riley, host of From the Top, National Public Radio


­“Summoning all the colors of a Chopin prelude, Greg Dawson has painted a vivid picture of his mother from her fairy tale childhood in Ukraine to her triumphant voyage to America.  A wonderful, staggering achievement.” –Mona Golabeck, host of The Romantic Hours, Grammy-nominated pianist


Greg Dawson is the eldest son of Zhanna Arshanskaya.  He has been a journalist for over forty years and is now a columnist at the Orlando Sentinel.

Hiding In The Spotlight

by Greg Dawson

Pegasus Books/June 2009

ISBN: 978-1-60598-045-4/272 pages/hardcover/$25.00



Since 1987, The B & B Media Group, Inc. has used its broadcasting, marketing and advertising experience to provide the specialized and strategic publicity necessary to achieve the public relations goals of each client.  The Barnabas Agency, a division of The B & B Media Group, Inc., is a proven provider of exceptional public relations and personal management services for authors, speakers, ministries and organizations.



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