When Luba Leaves Home by Irene Zabytko

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Luba lives with her parents in a Chicago neighborhood full of others like themselves-immigrants from Ukraine. Her parents want only two things: to enjoy a new life in America and to hold on to the old ways-the church, the language, the traditions-of Ukrainian culture. They want these things for Luba, too.

Luba wants only the first part of their wish. She wants to leave her neighborhood-not to mention Ukraine-behind. It's 1968, and protesting American students have taken to the city streets. Thinking that it's time she breaks step with her heritage and gets into step with her peers, Luba registers as Linda on the first day at her commuter college. Then she buys a second-hand car to drive into a future far from her parent's Wheat Street home.

The car must, however, first carry her father to his doctor's appointments, a Ukrainian celebrity to her featured appearances, a dying neighbor home from work, and her lifelong buddies to school and back. Somewhere along the way, Linda takes a backseat and Luba takes the wheel, finding a new road to a destination somewhere between Ukraine and America.

In WHEN LUBA LEAVES HOME, award-winning author Irene Zabytko creates a bright new voice to tell the classic story of how the children of America's melting pot grow up strong enough to carry their double identities.


About Irene Zabytko

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Irene Zabytko, a bilingual, first-generation Ukrainian American, grew up in the Ukrainian Village section of Chicago. She is the recipient of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award and her work has been heard on NPR's The Sound of Writing.
Published April 11, 2003 by A Shannon Ravenel Book. 230 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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“Pani Ryhotska in Love” makes Luba jealous that the old woman can find romance with her aging boarder, especially since Luba’s crush on Pani Ryhotska’s artist son is a theme throughout the stories—finding a disillusioning climax in “The Prodigal Son Enters Heaven.” In the final piece, “John Mars,...

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Publishers Weekly

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In "My Black Valiant," Luba hopes to become more American herself, plotting to break free of her "DP Ukie" (Displaced Persons Ukrainian) status by changing her name to the more American Linda and buying a car that symbolizes freedom and the ability to flee her stifling culture.

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