Marina Lewycka: Biography

Marina Lewycka

Marina Lewycka was born in Kiel, Germany January 1, 1946 while her Ukranian parents were living in a refugee camp. Soon after, they went to live in England where Lewycka grew up and attended Keele University. There she did a bachelor degree in philosophy and literature and then later attended the University of York where she undertook a BPhil in literature. Before becoming a writer, Lewycka has always been involved in some form of teaching and journalism and ended up as a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University until her retirement.

For Lewycka, writing was always a compulsion and she wrote her first poem when she was only a child of four and she also wrote plays for her dolls. She kept on writing through all phases of her life, but never made a breakthrough into print until she was well into her fifties and did a course in creative writing. Her work was spotted by a literary agent and the rest is history.

Marina Lewycka’s first novel created quite a literary sensation when it appeared in 2005 by winning three important awards – the Goodread Award, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and the Saga Award for Wit. The popularity of this book can be seen by the fact that it has been published in 35 languages and sold nearly a million copies worldwide. It a comic story of two sisters’ reaction to their elderly father marrying a seductive and much younger woman who they feel is only after his money. Lewycka has written four other novels in the same comical vein.

Her books are described as humorous and witty even though they also deal with serious underlying issues such as the exploitation of immigrants, the effects of war in the Ukraine and the horrors of factory farms. Lewycka has also written a set of guides for caregivers of persons with various physical and medical challenges. She lives in Sheffield, is married to Dave Feickerr and has one daughter.