Relative's letter inspires novel for SH alum


August 19, 2020

AUTHOR Cathy Hamilton holds her novel, "Victoria's War," during the book's launch at Annie Bloom's Books in Portland.

It's not often that a single letter from a relative inspires a book, let alone changes the course of one's life.

Catherine A. Ponzoha Hamilton, daughter of longtime local residents Joe and Mickey Ponzoha, was a practicing psychotherapist and a freelance writer when, in late 1996, she got her hands on a letter from a long-lost Polish cousin named Katherine Graczyk.

Originally sent to Hamilton's Aunt Mary in Longview, Wash. a few years earlier, the letter contained a written introduction and a cassette tape detailing Graczyk's kidnapping during World War II.

"Listening to this recording of...

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