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Valentina Gal, author and story writer

I am an emerging writer raised in Hamilton, Ontario where many displaced persons of World War II settled to work in the factories that were established there.

As a blind child who was not allowed to run and play like other children, I listened to the adults tell their stories of struggle and survival and was greatly influenced by them. I never remember a time when I didn’t want to write their stories down. Later, while attending McMaster University as a mature student, I discovered that my area of the city was diverse in culture and peopled by interesting characters, not unlike those found in Dickens’ writing. I realized that the effects of war last much longer than the fighting, particularly the psychological ones. While the physical wounds heal, the psychological trauma of war passes down for generations. My perspective as a blind woman gives my stories a unique twist that complicates them as it has complicated my own life, particularly when adding my experiences of an institutional school to the mix.

My short stories explore the adventures of a disabled daughter of new immigrants negotiating her way through life. We were learning how to be multicultural long before multiculturalism became a political concept. In short, I write about the struggles and survival of new Canadians who have come to find a better life. My stories are funny, poignant, happy and sad, full of colourful people in interesting situations.

Some of my writing is too big to be contained in the short story genre. How my mother lived through the Holodomor, the Ukrainian genocide, required the writing of a book. Stay tuned for an announcement about its launch.

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