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Who is Marina Lewycka

Updated on November 16, 2014
A Short History of Tactors in Ukrainian
A Short History of Tactors in Ukrainian | Source

Marina Lewycka Author of A Short History of Tactors in Ukrainian

Marina Lewycka, of Ukrainian origin, was born in 1946 in a British-run refugee camp in Kiel, Germany after World War II. She was brought up in England and progressed through the education system to become a well-known and much-loved writer.

Her first book is A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - not the catchiest of titles and rather misleading! Would you pick up a book with a title like that if you wanted to read a hilarious, light-hearted book with a slightly troubling sub-plot running through it? I wouldn't. Fortunately this book is so funny and so enjoyable that it's reputation runs before it.

Her second book Two Caravans (or Strawberry Fields in the US and Canada) is just as funny but tells the grim tale of modern slavery and exploitation in Britain today.

She has written two further books: We Are All Made of Glue (2009) and Various Pets Alive and Dead (2012) as well as books on caring for people in old age.

Buy A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on Amazon - A lovely book full of fun

And read it for yourself. Not only will you love it, but it's a great book to lend to friends and a great talking point.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

So funny, sad and such a good read AND you get to find out just how fascinating tractors are - really!

 

Vintage tractor gifts and greetings cards

Buy this and many other tractor gifts from Zazzle online store
Buy this and many other tractor gifts from Zazzle online store | Source

My Tractors are Not Ukrainian

I photographed this tractor in Limousin, South West France

Life in Limousin is quiet, rural and has an air 'the olden days' about it. This image is intensified by all the ancient and rusting tractors sitting in the farmyards and barns all over the area. I love these tractors and have been taking photos of them to share on Zazzle.

Great gifts for farmers, Dads, agricultural students and anyone who likes farming - or simply likes tractors.

Zazzle is a site that enables artists and photographers to upload their work for sale on a wide variety of gifts and products - everything from stamps and stickers to T Shirts and mugs.

The beauty of these gifts is that you can personalise them by adding your own text and images - make that special gift extra special!

Go to this page: http://www.zazzle.com/vinage_french_tractor_shirt-235103052668426001

Who is Marina Lewycka?

She is what she writes

Marina Lewycka was born in 1946 in a British-run refugee camp in Kiel, Germany after World War II. She is of Ukrainian origin and after the end of the war her family immigrated to England when marina was about one year old.

After leaving the English reception centre the family went to live with Malcolm Muggeridge's mother-in-law, Mrs Dobbs, in Sussex. Later they moved into the house of Winifred Morton at Burwash Common and while her mother did housework cared for these two old ladies, Marina learned how to care for poultry. On Marina's web site there's a charming picture of her as a toddler feeding the ducks.

About 1949 the family moved into their first real home - a two bedroom miners cottage in Norton. Her father worked in Doncaster for (surprise, surprise) International Harvester tractors.

In her teenage years she became a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and lived in a squat.

She has a BA in English and Philosophy from Keele University and a BPhil in English Literature the University of York.

She taught media studies at Sheffield Hallam University until retirement in 2012 and she continues to live in Sheffield, (England).

Lewycka has been involved in the care of the elderly and has written books for carers of elderly people (published by the charity Age Concern).

How Much of A Short History of Tractors is True?

Much of it is Autobiographical

Her Ukrainian origins, her family's internment in a forced labour camp in Germany, their flight to England, her conflicts with her sister, the loss of her much-loved mother is all true. Her father really was a mad scientist - OK, he was an eccentric engineer and he really did marry a woman who was much younger than he and the two daughters did scheme to get rid of her.

Two Caravans - Or 'Strawberry Fields' in Canada and the US

Two Caravans (2007) is Marina Lewycka's second novel. It was In the United States and Canada it is published under the title Strawberry Fields.

The two caravans of the title become home for a varied handful of workers from Eastern Europe, Africa, China and Malaysia - some legal some not but all seeking a better life. The large caravan is for the boys and the smaller, but cozier, caravan is for the girls. Hopelessly overcrowded, overworked and exploited, when they are forced to flee these strawberry fields, they find worse to come.

This is a book that everyone should be obliged to read. All those who think that immigrants are good-for-nothing lay-abouts and scroungers especially.These young people come to fulfill dreams and instead they are plunged into an exploitative underworld of gangsters and conmen. Girls are abducted and forced onto the streets, the work is demeaning and dangerous. There is no help at hand. Passports ar taken away, the police side with the taskmasters and the conditions in which they are forced to live are shocking.On top of this their wages are docked to cover 'expeses'.

The book is written in the same witty, light style of A Shorter History of the Tractor in Ukrainian, but the story is true and dark. One phrase that is repeated periodically throughout the book is 'This is Britain'. It is not the Britain of my youth, that's for sure. Where has that Britain - the Britain of security, law, order and fair-play gone.

It is with a shudder that I note that the book is dedicated to the Morcambe bay cockle pickers who died in 2004 when the tide came in while they were working. This incident uncovered the extent of modern-day slavery in Britain.

Two Caravans
Two Caravans

Two Caravans is the original title of Lewycka's second book published by Penguin Books for the UK

 
Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields

They chaged the title to Strawberry Fields for the US and Canadian markets - don't you just hate it when they do that?

 

Marina Lewycka Has Written Two Other Books - Both have been very well received

We Are All Made of Glue
We Are All Made of Glue

Her third book was released in July 2009

 
Various Pets Alive & Dead
Various Pets Alive & Dead

Marina Lewycka's second book was published in 2012

 

A Shortlist Interview With Marina Lewycka - Is it comedy or politics

When Marina Lewycka decides to just write what she wants she discovers that her political novels are viewed as comedy and her comic novels are seen as political. It takes a good writer to make the politics poignant, memorable and hilarious.

Marina Lewycka talks about her life and her books.

I've been a 'successful' writer for almost five years now, but I never forget that I was an unsuccessful writer for more than fifty. It helps to keep things in perspective.

— Marina Lewycka

Audio Books by Marina Lewycka

Listen to these hilarious and poignant stories

Get the Audio Version of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Narrated by Sian Thomas

A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian
A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian

Sian Thomas narrates the complete and unabridged story over 8 CDs.

 

Two Caravans Audio Version - Or 'Strawberry Fields' in Canada and the US

Two Caravans
Two Caravans

Listen to the full, unabridged book.

 

My Reviews

A bit more information about Lewycka's books

Where Did I Get My Information? - Links to my sources

Wikipedia of course and the sites listed below:

What Do You Think of Marina Lewycka's Books?

Do you love 'em or hate 'em?

See results

Any Thoughts on Marian Lewyca and Her Books? - I'd love to hear from you

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