Eva Maria Chapman

About Eva

Eva Maria Chapman

I was born in Prague in 1947. When I was three, my mother Olga and I sailed to Australia, meeting Sasha, another refugee from the Soviet Union. I believed he was my real father until I was 12. We settled in the western suburbs of Adelaide. Valentina was born in 1954 and Alexandra in 1964. The marriage was unhappy and Olga became so ill that she spent the last seventeen years of her life in a mental hospital.

After a violent row, I left home at 20, Sasha vowing never to forgive me. I managed to emerge from this cloud of acrimony and sadness and graduated from Adelaide University in 1968. My wonderful children were born, Sophi in 1971 and Joseph in 1977. I was a secondary schoolteacher in Australia, Paris and London; then a psychotherapist; a researcher and an academic, gaining a PhD in 1986; and finally a successful business woman in the field of energy efficiency, before retiring in 1999.

Eva Maria Chapman and her grandson

In taking stock I saw that although my life in the UK was happy and successful, it was blighted by the dark shadow of my estranged Australian family. I decided to do something about it, and with my husband Jake’s blessing and support, set out to heal it; to make sense of a fractured and crazy history. I undertook this task as a full time occupation; travelling to Eastern Europe to search for roots and to Australia for forgiveness. I was ricocheted from pillar to post, and all sorts of surprising, miraculous, painful and unexpected things happened. Sasha & Olga is the testimony.

As Sasha & Olga was being published, I had a vision about the Kaurna Adelaide Aborigines. While Sasha & Olga was about what my family had brought to Adelaide, my next book Butterflies & Demons is about where they landed. The Kaurna were a gentle race who danced and sang on the Adelaide plain for 40 thousand years, before being suppressed by the British. I discovered many parallels in what had happened to my family in the 1950s. I have felt honoured to uncover their story and blend it with my own.

Eva and husband Jake dancing

I am now enjoying my fifth career as a writer. My third and fourth books have the theme of the healing power of relationships. I am also writing short stories, essays and poetry.

I live in idyllic retirement in a wildlife sanctuary in Somerset with Jake, a Professor of holistic thinking and senior associate of the London thinktank Demos. We have been together for 30 years and recently celebrated our silver wedding anniversary.

Eva Maria Chapman likes hats and masks

We have 4 grown up children and three grandchildren. Before Olga succumbed to schizophrenia, she loved dressing up and had a great sense of fun which she passed on to me. I love doing the same and frolicking with my grandchildren.

I would like to find an agent who loves my books and would represent me.

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