Zabila, Nataliia

Zabila, Nataliia [Забіла, Наталія], b 5 March 1903 in Saint Petersburg, d 6 February 1985 in Kyiv. Poet, prose writer, and playwright; wife of Dmitrii Shavykin. She studied at the Kharkiv Institute of People's Education and worked first as a teacher and then in the editorial office of various journals; for some time she was editor of the periodical Barvinok. She began to publish her own work in 1924. Zabila wrote her first poetry in a modernistic style, which she was forced to abandon in response to Soviet political pressure. Her poetry appeared under the following titles: Daleki kraï (Distant Lands, 1927), Soniashni reli (Sunny Lyres, 1928), and Budivnyche (Constructional, 1930). From the 1930s on she wrote mainly for children: Iasochchyna ialynka (Weasel's Christmas Tree, 1934), Veseli maliuky (Happy Youngsters, 1951), Opovidannia, kazky, povisti (Stories, Tales, and Novels, 1962), Dyvovyzhni pryhody khlopchyka Iurchyka ta ioho dida (The Strange Adventures of Little Boy George and His Grandfather, 1964), Pro babyni kazky (About Grandmother's Tales, 1978), Try chverti viku (Three-Quarters of an Age, 1978), and many others. Zabila also retold in verse Slovo o polku Ihorevi (The Tale of Ihor's Campaign, 1940) and translated Aleksandr Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, and Nikolai Nekrasov from Russian. The most complete edition of her collected works is Tvory v chotyr’okh tomakh (Works in Four Volumes, 1971–3).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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