Reviews of The Karjala Story: Revolution, War Wonder


"A well researched, warmly presented, compelling family saga from the lost Finnish border region of Karjala. Couldn’t put it down, and could not help checking rechecking historical and family references. Mr. Tuira has presented us with a monumental saga that will become the go to Karelia history reference book for English readers."  
- John Kaipainen


"I am in the middle of Kaarlo’s book and I am happy to tell you that it is extremely well-written and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It doesn’t read like a history book, though that is what it is, because it’s very personal. It’s a family story. We come to know and love Karl’s family. 
Karl, I am astounded at the research you have done. All of it in Finnish I assume. Since I worked for a Finnish company (Tieto) for 4 years I know how complicated Finnish is! Lovely, hard-working, salt of the Earth people."

- Jim Piggot 


"The book is not only easy reading but is so extensive and well researched that it should be used as a University reference book."
- Jack Butler


"It was a gift. Well received."
- Customer


"Am reading your book. Great history. Am from Sault Ste. Marie. My DNA shows that I am 98%  Karjalainen. Recommending this book. Thank YOU."

- Erkki and Linda

"The Carmichael book as well as the Karjala book arrived today--so it was a red letter day!  I stayed up late reading parts of Karjala and I'll go back next to read about Viipuri, my mother's birth place, and then go on from there. ...The information and connections to your extended family is what makes the history come alive.  It's not just a recounting of historical events--even though that is impressive in itself-- but the actual people who lived through it all and how it impacted their lives.  It's truly overwhelming to take it in all at once!"

- Lea Springer

Reviews of The Art of Robert-Ralph Carmichael: Surrealism…Splendour



"Beautiful job you did, beautiful book. Bob would be pleased."
- Rod Bell   


"What a splendid job, talk about professional! I am immensely impressed by your celebration of this Sylvan Valley artist. He did not live in vain, he enriched Canada, he left a legacy for us all. I am grateful for your recognition of this great artist."
- Dieter Ropke


"I've appreciated reading through the book, and fondly reflecting on Bob and his work, and of time spent with he and Gwen. I thoroughly enjoyed David Aurandt’s essay. Congratulations on realizing the book, which comprehensively captures the facts of Bob’s life and career. I can see why, as you mentioned, Gwen is pleased with the book design. Your appreciation for Gwen, and of Bob and his work, come across in your writing and sensitive treatment of the subject."
- Miranda Bouchard 


"I just wanted to let you know how happy we are to have the book. You did an amazing job, and it is very good that his work is now preserved and accessible – and also that the old slides now have a digital version so that when they deteriorate, the images will still be preserved."
- Viktor and Judith Tinkl


"Impressive book – the writing – the layout – the images."
- Ian Shaw



I came to storytelling late in life after a global career as a high tech manager. Born in Kotka, Finland, I immigrated to Canada in 1951 with my parents and siblings. My parents were from Karjala, the part of Finland lost to Russia in WW II. Upon arriving in Canada, we settled in Northern Ontario. I grew up in the farming community of Sylvan Valley near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

After earning my BA and MBA from the University of Toronto, I held senior positions with high tech companies and management consultancies in Canada, the USA, Australia, and Europe.

Upon retiring I started to write books. Initially I wrote four family history books – one for each of the ancestral lines of my children.

Since then I have published two books:

1.  The Karjala Story: Revolution, War, Wonder, and
2.  The Art of Robert-Ralph Carmichael

The Karjala Story is a combination of a history book and a family saga. Always interested in history, I became impassioned by the history of Karjala, the part of Finland that was lost to Russia in WW II. As there were no books in English (and very few in Finnish) on Karjala, I decided to write and publish a book on the subject. After over five years of research and writing I completed The Karjala Story: Revolution, War, Wonder –the recounting of the history of Karjala from Prehistory to WW II as seen through the eyes of my family.

The Art of Robert-Ralph Carmichael is an art book - a compendium of the life and works of Robert-Ralph Carmichael - a well noted Canadian surreal, landscape and still life painter; and, the designer of the one dollar Loonie coin.  I grew up in the idyllic old farming community of Sylvan Valley where Bob and his artist wife Gwen set up their home and studio in 1976. I got to know them quite well, and fell in love with Bob Carmichael’s art.  Bob, Gwen and I talked intermittently about doing a book on his art. But it was not until he passed away that Gwen Keatley said, “Ok you must do this book. Bob’s wish in his last years was to be famous”. And so the book came to be.

While an Ironman Triathlete and former “Bay Street suit”, I now spend my time gardening and chasing my grand children in Oakville…and writing.



© 2018 Karl Tuira

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