© Mariana Savka

Galyna Malyk was born in 1951 in Berdyansk in the Zaporizhia region. In 1964, she moved with her family to Sredne in Transcarpathia. Her first experiences with books included the »Ukrainian Folktales«, which opened up a new world for her as a child. Her father was an agricultural scientist and, after being assigned to a grape cultivation research center, the family soon had to move to the Donetsk area. Transcarpathia, her childhood home, has remained Malyk’s most important region and landscape. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Uzhhorod and graduated from the Department of Philology in 1980.

Afterwards, Malyk worked as a proofreader in the Uzhhorod City Printing House, and later in the Transcarpathian Regional Library as head of the Art and Culture Department, where she stayed until 1990. She eventually became editor-in-chief of various Ukrainian publishing houses.

Malyk began writing as a student — and then she stopped. Only when she had her first child did she start writing poetry again, this time for her daughter. Her children’s verses tell simple stories with great ease and unexpected twists. Some of her stories are riddle-filled verses that children have to think through to the end. In an interview, she said: »To write for children, you just have to be a happy person. Where, if not from within yourself, can you create a wonderful fairytale world that does not exist in reality?«

Malyk has published seventy books to date, and her publications include poetry, prose, and translations from Bulgarian into Slovak. She has also published several anthologies of 20th century Transcarpathian children’s literature, with a focus on poetry and novels.

For her novel »Neswaitschajni prigodi Ali w kraini Nedoladii« (tr: The Extraordinary Adventures of Ali in the Land of Nedoladii), Malyk was awarded the O. Kopylenko Prize. She went on to write a  trilogy of stories about the courageous little Ali, which is now taught as part of the curriculum in schools in Ukraine. Malyk was awarded the Lesya Ukrainka Prize in 2003 for her story »Slotschinzi s paralelnogo swity« (2001; tr: Criminals from the Parallel World). She has been a member of the Ukrainian Writers’ Association since 1991.

For the anthology »Skype Mama« (2013), about the estimated five million Ukrainian migrant workers, some of whom are in their countries illegally, Malyk wrote the story of a young Ukrainian woman who goes to Italy to work. Because of financial difficulties, she agrees to become a surrogate mother. When she returns to her village, its inhabitants make life difficult for her, eventually driving her to commit suicide. Malyk created the first interactive iPad book in Ukranian, »Zabavlianky”. Her works were published in the Czech Republic, in Slovakia, Russia, and Belarus.

The author lives in Uzhhorod.