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Originally published in Ukranian in 1972--and only now translated into English, by Mr. Ordach's daughter, Erma--Wave of Terror relates the story of the USSR's 1939 occupation of Belarus from the perspective of Ivan Kulik, the new headmaster of an elementary school in Hlaby. Ivan has to learn to navigate the treacherous political straights, which include things as absurd as requiring that classes be taught in Belorussian when the whole town speaks only Ukranian and as horrifying as fellow townspeople being hauled off to prison or labor camps for no good reason. Meanwhile, he falls in love with the Russophiliac Marusia Bohdanovich, but so too does the brutal NKVD man, Sobakin, who tries to rape her. By turns a comedy and a horror story, it's a shame Mr. Ordach's semiautobiographical novel did not reach the wider public when it was written. It might even have contributed to the downfall of the Soviet regime and we might recall him as a kind of Canadian Solzhenitsyn. But it loses none of its beauty and power just because the evil it was written against is now gone. Better late than never was never truer.


Grade: (A+)


Theodore Odrach Links:

    -BOOK SITE: Wave of Terror by Theodore Odrach, Translated from Ukrainian by Erma Odrach (Academy Chicago Publishers)
    -AUTHOR SITE: Theodore Odrach
    -STORY: The Chosen Ones (Theodore Odrach, Archipelago)
    -STORY: Lickspittles (Theodore Odrach, Paumanok Review)
    -PROFILE: Unsung writer, unknown identity: An immigrant author's personal history continues to unfold (MICHAEL POSNER, 3/16/06, Globe&Mail)
    -REVIEW: of Wave of Terror by Theodore Odrach (JANICE KULYK KEEFER, Globe & Mail)
    -REVIEW: of Wave of Terror (Publishers' Weekly)
    -REVIEW: of Wave of Terror (Sam Munson, Times Literary Supplement)

Book-related and General Links: