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Theodore Odrach


Theodore Odrach was born Theodore Sholomitsky1912 in Misiatichy, outside of Pinsk. At the time it was under Polish rule but was annexed to the Soviet Union in 1939, with the area where Odrach was born becoming part of the Byelorussian SSR. However, before that, at the age of nine, he was sent by Polish authorities, who then controlled the area, to a reform school for boys in Vilnius, without his parents knowing where he was. He later studied ancient history and philosophy at Vilnius University and then became a rural school teacher.

With a ban on teaching in Ukranian and hi close friends being deported as kulaks, he managed to flee, though having no passport or other identity documents. He changed his name to Odrach and he managed to escape, via a tortuous route, to Canada via Ukraine, Slovakia, Germany, where he met his future wife, Klara Nagorski, and Manchester, England. The family, now with two daughters, settled in Toronto. Odrach worked for a printer and wrote at night, including novels, stories and articles for Ukrainian newspapers. His works were banned in the Soviet Union. He died of a stroke in 1964. One of his novels, translated by his daughter, has been published in English as well as a collection of his stories.

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Theodore Odrach
Unsung writer, unknown identity (profile)


(Only books translated into English)

1972 Вошадь ( Wave of Terror)
2022 The Village Teacher and Other Stories