Novel – Of Stalwart Peasants

 It’s a common story – desperate people seeking a better life, immigrate to North America, overcome adversity, and ultimately prosper in the New World. Everyone living in North America today, except for the First Nations, is either an immigrant or a descendent of immigrants. They are ordinary people with extraordinary stories.

 OF STALWART PEASANTS tells the stories of my Hungarians grandparents, who arrived in Saskatchewan in 1905 via different routes and marry in 1908. This novel is a fictional representation based on historical fact, oral family history, research, and imagination. It sets the individual stories of poor migrants from Eastern Europe against the backdrop of the political forces at work in both the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Canada.

             The Lukacs family decides that there is no future for them in the farmlands of Zala county and, in 1905, give up everything they’ve ever known to travel from the village of Potrete’ to Canada’s Northwest Territory. But at the eleventh hour they discover that a family of eight must travel halfway around the world with tickets and travel documents for only seven people.

             The other thread follows Lajos Kis, a twenty-seven year old csendor, a Hungarian mounted policeman, who is drubbed out of the force following an incident involving the death of a boy. He follows his friend, Vineze Vargyas, to the coalfields of Pennsylvania before deciding that life as a homesteader in Canada would be better than life, or death, underground.

   A partial manuscript is available on request. I would welcome feedback or your own family stories related to mine.