Ivan Franko (ē´vän frän´kō), 1856–1916, Ukrainian writer and nationalist. His realistic novels Boryslav Laughs (1881–82) and Boa Constrictor (1878, tr. 1961) portray the harsh existence of Ukrainian workers and peasants. Franko was an ardent political radical who sought to inspire Ukrainian nationalism in works such as Zakhar Berkut (1883, tr. 1944), which deals with Ukrainian history. He treated social and psychological problems in Basis of Society (1895) and the autobiographical In the Sweat of the Brow (1890). Franko's poetic works include poems on social themes as well as purely lyrical poetry (Withered Leaves, 1896) and philosophical contemplations (Semper Tiro, 1906). In Death of Cain (1889) and Moses (1905), Franko draws an analogy between the Israelite search for a homeland and the Ukrainian desire for independence. His dramatic masterpiece is Stolen Happiness (1893). Franko's works, numbering more than 1,000, include volumes of history, criticism, ethnography, politics, and translation.
See his Selected Poems (tr. 1948).