Did you know? Canada is home to the world's third largest Ukrainian population, after Ukraine and Russia respectively.
Dr. Myroslav Shkandrij is a professor at the University of Manitoba. His book: Jews In Ukrainian literature: Representation and Identity is up for a major literary award - The Kobzar Literary Award.
The 2012 nominees include Larissa Andrusyshyn of Montreal; Myrna Kostash of Edmonton, Shandi Mitchell of Nova Scotia, Rhea Tregebov of Vancouver and Myroslav Shkandrij of Winnipeg.
The award, given every two years by the Shevchenko Foundation, is worth $25,000.00, with $20,000 going to the author, and $5,000 to the publisher. It challenges writers to explore a Ukrainian
Dr. Shkandrij's book addresses the questions: "What does Ukrainian literature teach its readers? Does it reflect, as some have argued, a deeply anti-Semitic culture? Or does it portray, as some have reasoned, an insufficiently acknowledged side of Jewish history - the close and enriching interaction with Ukrainian life?" (quoted from the introduction)SCENE asked for an excerpt from the book:
(From Chapter 1) - Confronting the Other, 1800 - 1880
"After the partitions of Poland in the late eighteenth century, around 600,000 Jews found themselves within the Russian empire. Catherine the Great decreed in 1791 that they could not enter Russia proper but were restricted to the western territories. Here, imperial authorities gradually established the Pale of Settlement, which remained in force until 1915. It included eight out of nine Ukrainian gubernias (provinces) and what is today Belarus and Lithuania. In the 1880s the population of Jews in the Ukrainian part of the Pale was over 1.5 million. If one adds to this figure the almost half-million Jews in territories then under Austrian rule, the number of Jews who at the dawn of the century lived within the boundaries of today's Ukraine constituted one-third of all world Jewry."The 2012 Kobzar Literary Award will be awarded Thursday March 1, in Toronto.Publisher: Yale University Press, 2009