Selected on her arrival at Auschwitz by the Commandant of Birkenau because of her beautiful long hair, the sixteen-year-old was forced to become his sex slave.
On liberation, and still only nineteen, she was charged by the Russians as a collaborator. Once again, Cilka found herself on a prison train, this time destined for a Siberian gulag.
In reimagining Cilka’s journey to Siberia, her fierce determination to survive against all odds, and her eventual release and discovery of life and love with a fellow ex-prisoner, Morris has given us a powerful new story of hope, and the triumph of humanity over the most brutal of experiences.
Heather Morris is a native of New Zealand, now resident in Australia. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays.
In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly gentleman who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives.
Their friendship grew and Lale embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a number one bestseller in the UK for much of 2018 and was at the top of the New York Times bestseller lists for three months.
Konnie Huq is one of the UK's best-loved presenters and writers. She is best known for being the longest serving member of the "Blue Peter" team as well as for presenting CBBC's UK Top 40 and Top of the Pops. Huq presented Zoo Days, The Red Bull Air Race and also appeared alongside Charlie Brooker in Screenwipe on BBC Four.
In December 2009 Huq won the Best Rising Star Screenplay Angel award at the Monaco International Film Festival for the short story, Ahmed and Mildred. Huq has co-written the second episode of the Channel 4 anthology series Black Mirror, which received positive critical reception.
Earlier this year Huq published her debut children’s book series Cookie, a laugh-out-loud middle-grade sitcom, combining Huq’s own comedic upbringing in a contemporary London Bangladeshi household.
For ages 16+
Discounted copies of Heather Morris’ new book, Cilka’s Journey, (RRP £14.99) are available for £9.99 when you buy a ticket to the event. These may be collected at the event.
Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.
Book three or more literature and poetry events in the same transaction and receive a 25% discount. Selected events only.
Heather Morris is signing books for 90 minutes after her event.
This event is Speech-to-Text transcribed (STT) and British Sign Language interpreted (BSL).