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Marina Lewycka Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Caravans (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
We Are All Made Of Glue (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Various Pets Alive and Dead (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lubetkin Legacy (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

A Shorter History of Tractors in Ukrainian with Handcuffs (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dependant's Tale (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Marina Lewycka is a literary fiction author of Ukrainian origin who currently makes her home in the United Kingdom. The author was born in Kiel, Germany in a refugee camp in 1946. She has said that she can hardly remember anything about those early years even though her mother told her that she used to be a lovely baby.

When she was one year old, her family emigrate to England where they lived initially in Sussex and then in Burwash Common. During this time, her mother worked for their hosts doing housework and looking after the old ladies as Lewycka acquired an interest in poultry as she fed the ducks.

It was their hosts Miss Morton and Mrs. Dobbs who first taught Marina how to speak English, which she still does with a posh accent despite living in Yorkshire for nearly three dozen years.
In 1949, the family got their own home in the small mining village of Norton near Doncaster. The home was a small terraced house on a small lot with a lavatory in the back alley in which were hung small squares of torn newspapers that were used as toilet paper.

During this time, Marina Lewycka’s father worked in Doncaster where he was employed by the International Harvester Tractors company. Lewycka attended Pontefract’s St. Catherine School like many of her fellow kids.
It was at the school that her teachers first noticed her love for reading and gifted her Honor C Appleton’s “Mary Was Five and The Black Rock.” These among others such as “Ben the Flowerpot Men” and “Muffin the Mule and the Bill” would become some of her favorite novels.

It was from this that planted the seed for a desire to become a fiction. Over the years, the family moved all over the place and Marina continued writing in earnest. While she was in high school, she discovered a love for marginally sophisticated literature.

She began reading rhyming poetry particularly works from the likes of Alfred Lord Tennyson and Walter de la Mare. She used to picture herself as a sophisticated girl with moody eyes and a faraway look, even though her reality was very different.
While she had been a bright school girl and a cute baby, she was an appalling teenager who painted Cleopatra lines on her face and had cut off her plaits at sixteen.

In high school, Marina Lewycka took advanced classes in Russian, French, and English. She would then go to Keele University where she studied Philosophy and English.
While the college allowed the students to study whatever they wanted in their foundation year, English remained Marina’s favorite subject. She particularly loved the metaphysical poets, Chaucer and of course Shakespeare. She would end up studying drama and poetry and was introduced to James Joyce and W.B. Yeats.

Upon graduation in 1968 she decided to continue with her education and headed to the University of York where she earned her English degree. She would then get her doctorate degree from Kings College London, studying the works of the Diggers and the Levellers.

In 2005, she published “A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian” which paved the way for her to become a successful fiction author. Marina Lewycka now has more than half a dozen works to her name including a collection of short stories, novellas, and single-standing titles.

Marina Lewycka’s novel “A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian” is a work that sold more than a million copies and it became a bestselling title. In the work, the authors tell the stories of Nadezhda and Vera two feuding sisters. The two sisters mend fences as they take on their father’s new girlfriend who they believe is a gold digger.

Two years after the death of their mother, their father met a glamorous Ukrainian divorcee and proceeded to fall in love. The man is thirty-four while his girlfriend is a thirty-six-year-old woman who explodes into their lives like a fluffy pink grenade.

She churns up the murky waters and brings back bad memories that the sisters are forced to reconcile to save their father from Valentina, the voluptuous gold digger. Their father’s new girlfriend has a proclivity for boil-in-the-bag cuisine and green satin underwear but is determined to get Western wealth.

However, the two sisters’ campaign to expel Valentina uncovers dark family secrets and sends them back to their roots and dark history. Part comedy and part tragedy, it is the story of ordinary-seeming people that somehow relive the horror of war in their nightly dreams.

“Two Caravans” by Marina Lewycka follows several seasonal workers from Malawi, Ukraine, Malaysia, China, and Poland that are employed picking strawberries in Kent.

They make their home in two caravans one reserved for men and the other for women. But then trouble broke out as Irina and several other women are in danger of being forced into becoming sex workers.

The group leaves for Dover and ultimately arrives in London. Slowly the group members go their own way until only Andriy and Irina from Ukraine are left with a dog that had joined them in London. They head to Sheffield which Andriy had once visited in childhood and always felt like it was some kind of El Dorado.

While it is a work that showcases workers living in deplorable conditions, the author somehow manages to insert some humor in it.

It makes for a refreshing take on circumstances that we cannot change. The work is not about acceptance but rather it combines this admirable strait with optimism making for a very moving story.

Marina Lewycka’s “In We Are All Made of Glue,” the lead is a woman named George Sinclair whose life is coming unstuck.

Her son has an obsession with the “End of the World,” her husband abandoned her, and even worse, Mrs. Shapiro her elderly neighbor has decided they are related.

It was the hospital that informed her when Mrs. Shapiro was involved in an accident and named him next of kin. However, this will not be resolved by a quick visit to the old woman’s ward.
She has a large house full of all manner of cats that need to be looked after and two agents who want to take away her estate. Other people who just complicate things include the social worker intent on putting her in a nursing home and the Usellesses who are useless at trying to repair the rickety old house.

In this work, the author wades into the familiar elderly Eastern European person axis in addition to a kaleidoscope of themes such as Kippax fixation, bondage to B&Q, and Armageddon to Arthur Scargill. The author also shows boldness as she wades into the Palestinian-Israeli question.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Marina Lewycka

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