A poignant biography of Jacob Davidovitch Sudermann, a teacher and artist from a Russian Mennonite community who, like so many others, fell victim to the bloodthirsty paranoia of the Stalinist purges and died in a Siberian gulag in 1937. Sketches from Siberia is pieced together from letters, sketches, and paintings done by Sudermann himself during his imprisonment as well as the unpublished memoir of his sister Anna. It was Anna and other family members that brought these documents with them when they immigrated to Canada in the late forties. This important biography also serves as a valuable cultural history of the plight of the Russian Mennonite community. At once moving and chilling, it is a story that shows the strength that lies at the heart of kindness, the light that outlives the darkness. A timely story even eighty years after Sudermann’s death, it reminds us of the plight of displaced communities around the world today that are struggling to survive.