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Three Slovak Women
Liza A Alzo

Three Slovak Women

Three Slovak Women is a nonfiction account of three generations of Slovak women in the steel-producing town of Duquesne, Pennsylvania and the love and sense of family binding them together. The book opens with Verona Straka, who immigrated to the United States from the tiny village of Milpos, Slovakia in 1922. The first section unfolds with Verona’s journey from her homeland, and then chronicles her arranged marriage to Jánoš Figlyar, a hardworking, but stern coal miner/steelworker, whose fondness for alcohol led him to the often violent outbursts of which she was the target. The story then follows Verona’s first-born, her daughter Anna, as she grows up as a first-generation American, fearful of her father and devoted to her mother, and how this influenced the choices she made for her own life. Finally, the book concludes with Verona’s granddaughter, Lisa, showing how the opportunities presented to her differed from those afforded her mother and grandmother, with reflection on family values and traditions of the Slovak culture—honoring those that have been passed down from the previous two generations, while lamenting what has been lost.

Lisa Alzo was raised in Duquesne, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Ithaca, New York. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997, and spent six years researching her family’s history for Three Slovak Women. Lisa has taught genealogy and writing courses in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York, and has been an invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies. She is the recipient of the 2002 Mary Zirin Prize given by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies to recognize the achievements of independent scholars and to encourage their continued scholarship and service in the field of Slavic Women's Studies.

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