Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Forthcoming publication of new Ukrainian Anthology -- The Kobzar's Children

By Aussiegirl

My copy is already on order. For those readers who may be interested to find out more about this forthcoming book covering a wide range of Ukrainian history and culture, here is a preview:

Publication date: June 1, 2006
Vancouver Launch: June 2 & 3, 2006
From the cover:

The kobzars were the blind minstrels of Ukraine, who memorized the epic poems and stories of 100 generations. Traveling around the country, they stopped in towns and villages along the way, where they told their tales and were welcomed by all. Under Stalin’s regime, the kobzars were murdered. As the storytellers of Ukraine died, so too did their stories.

Kobzar’s Children is an anthology of short historical fiction, memoirs, and poems written about the Ukrainian immigrant experience. The stories span a century of history; and they contain stories of internment, homesteading, famine, displacement, concentration camps, and this new century’s Orange Revolution. Edited by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Kobzar’s Children is more than a collection; it is a moving social document that honors the tradition of the kobzars and revives memories once deliberately forgotten.

MARSHA FORCHUK SKRYPUCH is the author of many books for children and young adults, including Silver Threads, Enough, The Hunger, and Hope's War. Her novel about the Armenian Genocide, Nobody's Child, was nominated for the Red Maple Award, the Alberta Rocky Mountain Book Award, and the B. C. Stellar Award; and it was listed by Resource Links as a Best Book. Marsha has been honored by the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations as a Canadian Ukrainian Woman of Influence. The stories and poems in Kobzar's Children were written by a diverse group of people who first responded to Skrypuch's publications and eventually came to share their own stories via email.

The stories, by writers from across Canada, are arranged in chronological order and include:

A Home of Her Own: A true story set in the early 1900s by the late Olga Prychodko, about her mother's misconceptions about immigrating to the wilds of Canada's west.

Andriy's Break: An internment story set during WWI and inspired by true events written by well-known story collector, Danny Evanishen.

It's Me, Tatia: An old woman reflects on lost love and fateful decisons as she remembers a summer long past, during the Winnipeg Strike. Written by award-winning short fiction writer, Brenda Hasiuk.

The Rings: Inspired by true events, a story of one child's escape from the 1930s Ukrainian Famine, written by Marsha Skrypuch.

The Red Boots: A slice of prairie homestead life in the late 1930s and based on an incident in her own father's childhood, this is the first children's story that Marsha Skrypuch ever wrote.

A Song for Kataryna: How could someone just disappear? Well known storyteller Linda Mikolayenko peels back the horrific details of her immigrant aunt's disappearance layer by layer in this beautifully written story.

Auschwitz: Many Circles of Hell: Stefan Petelycky's memoir of his imprisonment in the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII because of his involvement in OUN.

A Bar of Chocolate: This humorous tale by first-time author, Natalia Buchok is about how her own father's quest for a bar of chocolate in a post WWII DP camp leads him to dress as a girl and go on a date with an American soldier.

Bargain: A humorous story with wry character sketches, set in the mid-1950s in the Warwaruk's meat market and general store in Glenavon SK. Written by award winning author, Larry Warwaruk.

Candy's Revenge: Set on a prairie farm in the 1950s, this story is about a city girl visiting her country cousin and how an innocent prank had unexpected consequences. Written by first-time author, Cornelia Bilinsky.

Changing Graves: A story based on a real incident in the 1970s about how a bizarre old-world request that a loved one's grave be moved closer to other relatives, ends in black comedy. Written by well-known children's entertainer, writer and poet, Sonja Dunn.

Christmas Missed: The story of a Canadian teen who travels to Ukraine during the Orange Revolution and how missing Christmas with his own family ends up teaching them all about the real meaning of family. Written by first-time author Paulette MacQuarrie.

In addition to the above twelve stories, the anthology contains a number of poems, including one written by Kim Pawliw, when she was 15. It is a tribute to her grandmother, who was interned as a child in Spirit Lake Internment Camp during WWI. Kim wrote the poem in French and translated it herself into English. Both versions are included.

There are also poems by Sonja Dunn and Linda Mikolayenko. The anthology includes photographs supplied by the contributors and by people from across the country.

Contributors reside across the country, so events introducing Kobzar’s Children will be occurring on an ongoing basis in a variety of locations with various of the contributors. The first launch will be held in Vancouver with Marsha and British Columbia's three contributing authors – Danny Evanishen, Stefan Petelycky and Paulette MacQuarrie.

Fri. June 2: in Vancouver at St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Centre, 3150 Ash St. (off 16th, between Cambie and Oak),. at 7 p.m

Sat. June 3: in Richmond at the Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko, 5311 Francis Road (between Railway and No. 2 Road), at 12:30 p.m.

Kobzar's Children: A Century of Ukrainian Stories is published by Fitzhenry &
Whiteside (Markham, Ontario) ISBN 1-55041-954-4.


At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm ordering two - one for each of the kids

At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Marsha Skrypuch said...

Hey Aussiegirl --

Thanks so much for posting that. I am really thrilled about this anthology. It was tons of work to put it together but it is FABULOUS!


At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Pawlina said...

Thanks from me, too, Aussiegirl! (I took off my radio hat to write my little contribution to the book.)

Working with Marsha was a dream, she is the most amazing person. (A brilliant writer, too!) If the book is fabulous, it's because of her unique ability to draw the best out of people.

And I certainly agree, it *is* fabulous!

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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