Marina Lewycka

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Marina Lewycka
Lewycka live chats from London in 2012
Lewycka live chats from London in 2012
Born (1946-10-12) 12 October 1946 (age 77)
Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Years active2005–present

Marina Lewycka (/lɛˈvɪtskə/ Le-VITZ-ka; born 12 October 1946)[1] is a British novelist of Ukrainian origin.

Early life[edit]

Lewycka was born in a refugee camp in Kiel after World War II. Her family subsequently moved to England; she now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. She attended Gainsborough High School for Girls in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, then Witney Grammar School in Witney, Oxfordshire. She graduated from Keele University in 1968 with a BA in English and Philosophy, and from the University of York with a BPhil in English Literature in 1969.[2] She began, but did not complete, a PhD at King's College London.


She was a lecturer in media studies at Sheffield Hallam University until her retirement in March 2012.[3][4]


Lewycka's debut novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian won the 2005 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing at the Hay literary festival,[5] the 2005/6 Waverton Good Read Award, and the 2005 Saga Award for Wit;[3] it was long-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize[6] and short-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction.[3][7] The novel has been translated into 35 languages.[8]

Her second novel Two Caravans was published in hardback in March 2007 by Fig Tree (an imprint of Penguin Books) for the United Kingdom market, and was short-listed for the 2008 Orwell Prize for political writing.[9] In the United States and Canada it is published under the title Strawberry Fields.

Lewycka's third novel, We Are All Made of Glue, was released in July 2009, and her fourth novel, Various Pets Alive and Dead, came out in March 2012.[10] Her fifth novel, published in 2016, was The Lubetkin Legacy, named after Berthold Lubetkin, the Georgian-born modernist architect, who built popular housing with the slogan: "Nothing is too good for ordinary people". The Lubetkin Legacy was shortlisted for the Bollinger Woodhouse Everyman for Comic Fiction prize.

In 2009 Lewycka donated the short story "The Importance of Having Warm Feet" to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the 'Earth' collection.[10] Later the same year, she donated a second short story, "Business Philosophy", to the Amnesty International anthology Freedom: Short Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 2020, Lewycka released the novel The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid.[11] A review of the book in The Spectator noted that its commentary on Brexit and organ trafficking "seem not so much disparate as random".[12]

In addition to her fiction, Lewycka has written a number of books giving practical advice for carers of elderly people, published by the charity Age Concern.


  1. ^ Companies House
  2. ^ "From Tractors to Caravans". Grapevine (Autumn 2007). Alumni Office, University of York: 17.
  3. ^ a b c "Marina Lewycka". British Council Literature. British Council.
  4. ^ "Best-selling book would not exist without master's course". Sheffield Hallam University. 14 March 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Debut novelist takes comic prize". BBC. 6 June 2005. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Man Booker Prize 2005 Archived 12 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Guardian Archived 26 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Translations of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian [dead link]
  9. ^ The Orwell Prize Shortlist 2008 Archived 7 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Oxfam: Ox-Tales Archived 20 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Skidelsky, William (13 March 2020). "The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid — a European crime caper". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  12. ^ Walton, James (29 February 2020). "Marina Lewycka's The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid is completely bonkers". The Observer. Retrieved 31 August 2022.

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