Melnyk, Eugenie (?)-1999

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Melnyk, Eugenie (?)-1999

PERSONAL: Died 1999.

CAREER: Writer.


My Darling Elia (novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

SIDELIGHTS: Canadian author Eugenie Melnyk died in 1999, shortly before the publication of her only novel, My Darling Elia. The story recounts the life of Elia, a Jew who is separated from his gentile wife Anna during World War II and spends the next fifty years attempting to locate her. He receives his last message from Anna in 1941, in Kiev, then goes on to survive the ravages of war, including the massacre of Jews at Babi Yar, and Trelinka. His determination to reunite with his wife helps keep him alive. When he finally finds Anna's locket in a flea market in Montreal, decades after the war, Elia tells his story, and wins the sympathy and the aid of the flea market vendors.

Melnyk performed extensive research on the Holocaust in order to write her book, accessing diaries and letters at Montreal's Jewish Museum over a period of seven years. Library Journal reviewer Andrea Lee Shuey remarked of the result that "this memorable novel is a tribute to the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit." A contributor to Publishers Weekly commented that, "while it suffers from some of the awkwardness of a fictional debut, Melnyk's heartfelt tale raises questions of morality, responsibility, and guilt, and dramatizes the enduring effects of the Holocaust in a classic love story."



Booklist, May 15, 1999, Patty Engelmann, review of My Darling Elia, p. 1669.

Library Journal, June 1, 1999, Andrea Lee Shuey, review of My Darling Elia, p. 175.

New York Times Book Review, July 11, 1999, Clea Simon, review of My Darling Elia, p. 22.

Publishers Weekly, April 26, 1999, review of My Darling Elia, p. 51.

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Melnyk, Eugenie (?)-1999

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