Farmers. Lovers. Soldiers.
From their humble backwater village in a remote corner of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Vasyl Rusynko and his brothers and the young sisters Paraska and Yevka Senchak are propelled into the three great tidal currents of the burgeoning 20th century: World War I the Communist revolution and the flight from Old Europe to New America.
With its memorable characters and rich and vivid detail Mark Wansa’s epic continent-spanning novel The Linden and the Oak combines a haunting and moving love story with a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
Partly the story of the author’s family The Linden and the Oak is also the story of the countless thousands of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. The historical context – traditions and customs World War I and the horrors of the Eastern Front – has been meticulously researched and offers fascinating insights on Eastern European culture.
“Wansa is a great story-teller. I was particularly impressed by his ability to convey the psychology of village life. Purely and simply an outstanding piece of literature.”
- Professor Paul Robert Magocsi Chair of Ukrainian Studies University of Toronto
“Authentic lyrical and historically accurate . . . Rich in imagery and steeped in the traditions of folklore . . . An epic story of love hope and fate . . . A remarkable achievement.”
- Elaine Rusinko Associate Professor of Russian University of Maryland
The son of an immigrant Mark Wansa was born in California and studied history at the University of Arizona. Intrigued by the mysterious stories he heard growing up Mark set out to discover his father’s origins among an Eastern European people whose history has been neglected. The culmination of nine years’ work including research and interviews in six countries The Linden and the Oak is Mark’s first novel.
Mr. Wansa lives with his wife in Albuquerque New Mexico.