About the Author / Artist

Zhanna Sosensky

Zhanna Sosensky’s life-long search for reasons why she survived after her mother’s death when she was just three months old has been the driving force behind most of the major decisions and changes she has made at every step of her life’s journey. Born in the USSR in 1941, Zhanna was raised in an orphanage but was eventually released to her motherless family at the age of six years.

On a freezing winter night in Moscow, as a young teenage girl, she ran barefoot through the snow. She ran for her life, away from her abusive father. She kept running until her feet got numb with frostbite. She was not afraid to endure the pain. She was running toward her life of freedom.

For many years, back in the place of her birth, Moscow, she struggled. She worked by day from a very young age, while completing high school and attending university by night to make something of herself and become a “somebody”.

Eventually, Janna graduated from journalism school (an interesting occupation in a communist country where freedom of speech didn’t exist at the time), only to find out that the field that she thought would allow her creative expression held no interest or excitement for her, let alone creative possibilities.

When asked about her long-term vision, she always answers without missing a beat. She wants to go, to play, to live at 100 percent. She wants to feel fully engaged and excited at every age. She wants to live a life of choice.

That’s life! That’s freedom!