Friday, December 4, 2009

Saturday Morning Post: Member Patricia Valdata Wins Gold Medal for her Novel

Congratulations to Writer's Center member Pat Valdata, who recently received lofty honors for her novel The Other Sister. Here's the press release that was sent to us:

Elkton author Pat Valdata received a gold medal and was inducted into the Hungarian Association’s Árpád Academy on Saturday, November 28, at a black-tie event in Cleveland, Ohio. Valdata received the honors for her second novel, The Other Sister, which chronicles the lives of Hungarian Catholic immigrants over a 50-year period. 

Valdata, who grew up in the Hungarian-American community in New Brunswick, New Jersey, drew on family stories, personal experience and extensive research to produce the novel, which one reviewer calls “a vivid and richly detailed story of the immigrant experience in America.”

According to Dr. John Nadas, president of the Hungarian Association, the Árpád Academy honors “those valuable and extraordinary works which promote the Hungarian spirit, and to professionally evaluate, and to recognize, elevate, and promote those works, with the intention of keeping the Hungarian spirit alive and energized.”

The Other Sister explores family relationships of three generations of Hungarian immigrants during the first half of the 20th century. United by language, custom, and religion, the first generation of immigrants forms a tight-knit community. Succeeding generations discover their own unique challenges to balance their heritage with life in American society. Their personal stories are set against a background of larger social issues, including world war, the influenza pandemic, the Great Depression, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

Valdata, who lives in Elkton, Maryland, received an MFA in writing from Goddard College. Her first novel, titled Crosswind, was published by Wind Canyon Publishing. The Other Sister was published by Plain View Press. She also writes a column for Cecil Soil, articles for Chesapeake Bay, and has a poetry chapbook titled Looking for Bivalve (Pecan Grove Press).

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