Launching her latest novel, “Driven Into Exile”, at AUGB’s Central Office yesterday evening, Maria Dziedzan presented a fate experienced by tens of thousands of people, uprooted from their homeland during the Second World War and transported to work as forced labourers in German and Austria.

Maria’s first publication, “When Sorrow Comes”, was inspired by a visit to her father’s village in Ukraine where, amongst others, he introduced her to Natstunya - a friend of her father from childhood who was now quite elderly. During the war years Nastunya had helped the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), was betrayed, caught and tortured…  

Assisted by further in-depth research and oral history from family and friends, Maria set about writing her novel against a backdrop of some of the shocking realities of life under the evil regimes of Hitler and Stalin…

“Driven into Exile”, on the other hand, was prompted by a desire to write about untold secrets. 

The book follows the destiny of Natalya, a young woman who, like millions of other ‘sub-human’ East Europeans, was torn away from her family in 1942 by the Nazis and transported to Germany - carrying her secret with her… 

Within three years the Third Reich had crumbled and, having survived the inhumanities of slave-labour and war, Natalya is left to decide her own fate as a displaced person – the fear of returning home to her family and a life under Josef Stalin or to remain stateless, in exile… 

During an interesting Q&A session (which followed on from an equally thought provoking presentation), Maria discussed various aspects of her writing - including the need to remain true to the nature of people and events of the time, the use of Ukrainian words within the text, the possibility of having her works published in the Ukrainian language and a fascinating tale about the photo used for the cover of her second novel.

“Driven into Exile” and “When Sorrow Comes” are now available to buy through Amazon.


article-facebook.jpg                                    article-twitter.jpg  

Ukrayinska Dumka


Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.