03 August 2010

Our October 30 headliner will be author Mark Wansa

Mark Wansa in his father's village in Slovakia
Mark Wansa, the author of "The Linden and the Oak," a novel of Carpatho-Rusyns in the homeland in the World War I era, will headline the Lake Michigan Chapter's October 30 event marking the first celebration of Carpatho-Rusyn Day.

Mark will read from his book, as well as answer questions on the novel, and its setting.

Wansa's epic novel, which tells the story of young Vasyl Rusynko from the fictional village of Stara Polyanka, is peppered with bits of Rusyn language that will be familiar to anybody who heard their baba or gido chattering away in our mother tongue. The well-researched book is also chock-full of our customs and bits of folk wisdom.

Most important to readers, it's an exciting and entertaining novel set against the backdrop of war, and the excitement of emigrating to a new land. You can order the book from Amazon by clicking on the link at left, and we're hoping to get some books in stock locally, so you can read it before the Oct. 30 event.

The most interesting recent review of the book came from Ginny Parobek in Jednota, the Slovak-American newspaper, who calls it a "sweeping epic." She tells readers to "turn off the TV and dip into this rich treasure of Rusyn culture."

That's high praise from a newspaper that, in the past, has not exactly been a proponent of the Rusyn identity in Slovakia.

UPDATE: Thanks to the hospitality of Msgr. Frank Korba, we've finalized the location for the event, St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, in Munster, Ind.  Tentatively, the doors will open at noon on Saturday, October 30, with the program beginning at 1 p.m.


  1. Hello, I am a Rusyn originally from Ambridge, PA (near Pittsburgh), but now living in Mattawan, MI.
    Daphne Meyers alerted me to this blog.

    1. Hi, FishDoc!

      I'm Charlotte Pribish Conjelko and the somewhat new Lake Michigan Chapter president after Tim Cuprisin's untimely death. It took us a bit of time to get into the blog because we had no passwords and I knew nothing about blogs. Though I've been posting things for the past 6 months or so I just discovered other people's postings.

      Your caught my eye because I have relatives (Youhas, Pribish,Ferry, Pavletic) in Aliquippa who go to St. John Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Church in Ambridge. Made me wonder if you have roots in the church.

      I also know Daphne who has come to a number of our gatherings.


  2. I hope you'll consider making the trip to northern Indiana on October 30. You would definitely be welcome! At our June event, we had Rusyns from as far away as Muskegon make the trip to the Western suburbs. Munster, Ind., will be much easier to get to.