When Echoes Speak

Dag Scheer - When Echoes Speak book cover photo

a memoir


A family of women and girls flees their war-torn country. A father escapes from a prison camp to find them. Thus begins Dag Scheer’s beautifully written memoir. When Echoes Speak follows her through these harrowing experiences to her childhood in a refugee camp, her youth in a striving immigrant family, and her blossoming into an independent woman who lives, works and loves on five continents.


author of Cézanne’s Quarry


In her writing Dag Scheer examines the way lives are shaped by memory, collective history, and the challenges of adapting to diverse cultures. A blend of memoir and cultural exploration, When Echoes Speak  distills the defining moments of an unusual life. In August of 1944, when Dag was five, she and her family fled Latvia to escape Soviet occupation. After five harsh years in a displaced persons camp in Germany, the family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Growing up, Dag was caught in a painful pull between her Latvian roots and her new life in America.

Determined to find her own path, she left home to teach, first in England, then in Libya where she met a young charismatic doctor. They traveled across Libya’s scorching desert terrain together, and their intense relationship deepened. After they married, her husband’s work in the Foreign Service took them to eight different countries across the globe. In recounting the frustrations and delights of each new location and its unique culture, Dag probes her inner transformations. Ultimately, the shifting perspective of being perpetually out of place helped her find a sense of self.

Through atmospheric descriptions and vivid portraits, When Echoes Speak  offers glimpses into exotic worlds, taking the reader from a drab DP camp, to the throbbing rhythms of Rio’s frenzied Carnival, to heartrending encounters in Ethiopia. In looking back, Dag Scheer discovers intricate and rich patterns in her life and weaves together the connecting threads.

Dag Scheer - portrait
Dag Scheer


Medecins sans frontieres logo


Having witnessed the depressing reality of insufficient healthcare in many countries, Dag has pledged to donate 50% of her book royalties to Médecins Sans Frontières. The international organization provides critical humanitarian medical aid to people affected by conflicts, epidemics and disasters around the world.


* All fields are required

    Scroll to Top