Born as the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, best-selling author Ruta Sepetys has harnessed the power of story to highlight the lives of those who would otherwise become lost in the cracks of history. Her impact goes far beyond the pages of her novels. She was honored by the President of Lithuania for her contributions to education and memory preservation. And she has received her own commemorative postage stamp. She says she is extremely proud of her Baltic heritage, even if that means she has a name no one can pronounce. (Incidentally, it rhymes with spaghettis.)

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Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. She is passionate about the power of history and story to foster global dialogue and connectivity. She describes herself as a “seeker of lost stories.” — like the one portrayed in her novel Between Shades of Gray, which is rooted in Baltic history when thousands of Lithuanians were deported to labor camps under Stalin’s rule. Though she is best known for these types of historical novels, after numerous requests from readers about how one would go about recording their own history, she has turned her pen to nonfiction. Her new book: You: the Story: - A Writer’s Guide to Craft Through Memory provides aspiring writers with a roadmap to crafting compelling stories by encouraging them to look inward and excavate their own memories.

This week on Watching America, she joins host Dr. Alan Campbell to explore the power of history, story, and self-reflection.

Listen to the interview.