Yuri Tkacz Biography

Born in 1954 in Melbourne, Australia, of Ukrainian parents, who had come here as refugees after World War 2.

Growing up in a predominantly Slavic neighbourhood, English became my second language after I began attending school.

Dissatisfaction with my own writing as a teenager led me to start translating short stories into English while I was still at university. I published four issues of a magazine of literature translated from Ukrainian into English (Kiev Quarterly) in 1975/76, which included humour, science fiction, lyrical short stories and realist novellas.

Having a background in engineering and constant dealings with people in the Ukrainian community, I became interested in translating a broad variety of texts, including memoirs and novels. Dealing in books imported from Ukraine and Russia, I was able to be exposed to a broad selection of popular and quality literature. Set up my own publishing and book import business, with shops operating in the Melbourne CBD and later in Brunswick.

Frustrated that novels were not being translated from Ukrainian, I left my job as an electrical engineer in 1979 to pursue a full-time professional career as a literary translator, rather than dabble in the field in my spare time. Since then I have had over 30 books published.
Between 1981-1983 I emigrated to Canada, where I translated Ukrainian pioneer literature.

From 1989 to 1993 resided in Kyiv, Ukraine and translated novels and non-fiction materials into English, edited English texts for local publishers. Acted as an interpreter for US reporters and news teams; did volunteer work for the Rukh democratic movement; worked for the US news agency IntelNews as a translator and English editor; worked as an English language editor for “Window on Ukraine”; translated short stories from Ukrainian into English.

Since then I have resided in Australia, managing regular trips to Ukraine. I continue to import books from Ukraine for sale in Australia, as well as translating documents and novels, and interpreting for government delegations from Ukraine.

After obtaining NAATI accreditation in 1997, I worked as a freelance translator, doing various work for government agencies, translating documents for businesses and private individuals. I have translated esoteric health texts and herbals, books on geography and folk costumes, composed a 4-language Eastern European herb dictionary.

In 2011 travelled across the USA with author Maria Matios to launch 3 of her books in English translation. I have translated a wide selection of contemporary authors from Ukraine, as well works by Ukrainian emigres from around the world.

Publication Record:

Antonenko-Davydovych, Borys: Behind the Curtain (novel set in Uzbekistan), 1980, Bayda Books
Antonenko-Davydovych, Borys: Duel (novel set in 1920s Ukraine), 1986, Lastivka Press
Before the Storm: Soviet Ukrainian Fiction of the 1920s, 1986, Ardis Publishers, USA
Berdnyk, Oles: Apostle of Immortality (science fiction short stories), 1984, Bayda Books [see http://www.livelib.ru/book/1000486380 ]
Berezy, Walter: Shadows in the Fog (autobiography), 2011, Bayda Books
Bodnarchuk, Ivan: The Generations Will Come Together (memoirs of a Ukrainian émigré author from Canada), 1986, Ukrainian Canadian Writers “Slovo”
Chub, Dmytro: How Moscow Russifies Ukraine (political essay), 1983, Lastivka Press
Chub, Dmytro: New Guinea Impressions (travelogue and historical), 1981, Lastivka Press
Chub, Dmytro: So This Is Australia (accounts of immigrant life in Australia), 1980, Bayda Books
Chub, Dmytro: Shevchenko the Man (biography of a Ukrainian poet), 1985, Bayda Books
Chub, Dmytro: West of Moscow (war memoirs), 1983, Lastivka Press
Dimarov, Anatoliy: Across the Bridge (short stories & novellas), 1977, M.U.U.S.C.
Dimarov, Anatoliy: In Stalin’s Shadow (four novellas about 1933 famine in Ukraine and persecution under communism), 1989, Bayda Books
Fat and Thin (bilingual children’s book of opposites), 2011, Bayda Books
Geography of Ukraine (textbook), 1985, Ukrainian Information Collective; 1986 UIC
Herstories: An Anthology of New Ukrainian Women Prose Writers, [containing my translations of extracts from Liuko Dashvar (A Village Is Not Its People), Maria Matios “Apocalypse”, Larysa Denysenko “Dances With Masks”, Lina Kostenko “Diary of a Ukrainian Madman”], London 2014
Honchar, Oles: The Cathedral, 1989, Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood, USA
Hutsalo, Yevhen: Reindeer August (collection of short stories) in Kiev Quarterly #1, 1975
Kaczurowsky, Igor: Because Deserters Are Immortal, 1979, Bayda Books
Matios, Maria: Apocalypse (novel about the Jewish people of the Carpathian Mountains), 2011, Bayda Books
Matios, Maria: …Hardly Ever Otherwise (epic novel set in the Carpathian Mountains), 2010, Bayda Books; 2012 Glagoslav
Matios, Maria: The Russky Woman (novel set in the Carpathian Mountains after World War 2), 2011, Bayda Books
On the Fence (Ukrainian émigré prose in Australia), 1985, Lastivka Press
Ponedilok, Mykola: Funny Tears (humorous short stories by Ukrainian émigré from USA), 1982, Svoboda Press, USA
Selivachov, Mykhailo: Folk Designs of Ukraine (an illustrated ethnographic text on symbols in Ukrainian applied art), 1995, Ivan Honchar Museum/Bayda Books
Shevchuk, Valeriy: Lunar Pain (gothic novel), 2010, Bayda Books
Shevchuk, Vasyl: Blood Brothers (historical novel about Cossacks), 1980, Bayda Books
Stamerov, K.: History of Ukrainian Costume (folk dress in Ukraine through the ages), 1986, Bayda Books
The Happy Alphabet (bilingual children’s book, with Kevin Pappas), 1986, Baby Bayda; 2nd edn. Ukraine 1990.
Vyshnia, Ostap: Hard Times (humour & satire), 1981, Bayda Books
Yavornytsky, Dmytro: The Dnipro Rapids (account of an expedition in 1920s to the rapids, before they were dammed), 2008 [see official website of the city of Dnipropetrovsk: http://gorod.dp.ua/eng/guide/?pageid=994 ]

Unpublished Translations:

Chukhlib, Vasyl: Microstories (short stories) [see www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Dimarov, Anatoliy: Milk, Money and Men (novellas about suburban life in Ukraine) [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Kasdoba, Kuzma: Son of a Kulak (novel about collectivization and Siberian exile)
Khotkevych, Hnat: Heart of Stone (novel set in Carpathian Mountains) [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Kostenko, Lina: Diary of a Ukrainian Madman [see excerpt www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Kostenko, Lina: Selected Poetry [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Luhovy, Oleksander: Prairie Children (autobiographical novel set in 1930s Canada) [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Matios, Maria: Armageddon Has Already Happened [see excerpt www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Matios, Maria: Don’t Ever Cry Over Me [see excerpt www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Majstrenko, Iwan: History of my Generation (memoirs of a National Communist) [see excerpt www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Polianetsky, Viktor: Short Stories [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Samchuk, Ulas: OST. The Moroz Settlement (epic novel set in Ukraine during the Russian Revolution) [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Shevchuk, Valeriy: A Group of Friends From the Bar Near Chudniv Bridge [see excerpt www.facebook.com/Author.Shevchuk/ ]
Shevchuk, Valeriy: Don’t Sing This Song To Me… (short story) [see excerpt www.facebook.com/Author.Shevchuk/ ]
Shevchuk, Valeriy: Lost Ukrainian Culture Over the Past 1000 Years [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Author.Shevchuk/ ]
Shevchuk, Valeriy: The Ghost of a Dead House [see excerpt www.facebook.com/Author.Shevchuk/ ]
Shevchuk, Valeriy: The House on the Hill [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Author.Shevchuk/ ]
Shevchuk, Vasyl: Precursor (novel about Ukrainian philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda) [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Solovyev, Serhiy: Short Stories [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Symonenko, Vasyl: Rose Wine (short stories) [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Ukrainian Folk Weddings (customs & rituals) [see excerpts www.facebook.com/Ukralit ]
Yavorivsky, Volodymyr: Chornobyl Madonna