Irina VanPatten is American Pacific Northwest writer with Eastern European roots. Her writing style marries the best of these two worlds. She draws from the reach roots of her culture, but bakes her own American literary cake with a blended sense of humor: sharp, yet warm; edgy, yet tender. She brings her perspective of past life experiences from behind the Iron Curtain which creates a unique blend of East versa West points of view in her writing.
She also writes about serious, timeless subjects. She is an author of the book Welcome to America, Welcome Home that is based on multiple interviews with American immigrants of different backgrounds and cultures. Experts like Immigration lawyers, criminal lawyers, small business owners, financial advisers, police officers, medical researchers, psychologists, language professors, charity workers, civil rights activists, refugees and asylum seekers contributed to her book. She put together piece by piece the mosaic of their different points of view and experiences, and included the personal stories of success and hardship of immigrant kids and adults who try to assimilate, and succeed in America.
Irina is also a contributor to a book of short stories about love called From Lullaby to Love Songs and Funeral Dirges. Her story I love you Russian Style is exploring the misconceptions of love in different cultures in a heartwarming, funny way.
Upcoming project: Irina is currently working on releasing her new book Mail-Order Family which is a charming and relatable tribute to her family’s resilience, where only laughter at the problems could get the family through the day. It ultimately culminates in a heartfelt love story about two misfits, who were literary two worlds apart.
Her other passion is writing for English-Romanian language magazine Hora in America, which focuses on stories from her community. She volunteers as a translator for Northwest Immigration Rights Project, collaborating with the division who takes on cases under Violence Against Women Act. She also volunteers at ReWA (Refugee Women’s Alliance) helping refugee women.