Elena LackovaElena (Ilona) Lacková, was born March 22rd 1921 in a Romani settlement in Veliki Šašir, Slovakia. One of nine children, she was the only girl to finish primary school in the settlement. She was a Slovakian writer and dramatist, author of childrens and youth literature. She is both famous as one of the most outstanding Romani authors and the first Romani woman in Slovakia to achieve a college degree. From 1963-1969 she at­tended and successfully graduated from the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague.

During 1949-1951 she was involved in the education of Roma in Prešovo, Slovakia. From 1961 onwards she worked in the Cultural Center in Ústí nad Labem in the then Czechoslovakian Republic. 1976-1980 she worked in the Union of Romani in Prague and in the same period she covered the Cultural Center in Lemeši.

She wrote verse, stories and theatre pieces in Romanes, all of which made her famous as the first Romani writer in Slovakia and in 1989 she founded the Romani newspaper “Romano Lil”. In 2000 she received the state Order of Ljudevit Štura from President Rudolf Šuster.

She was a very active writer and published in multiple genres including theater, radio, prose, and poetry. Some of these include:
Theater: 1946 – Horiaci cigánsky tábor – The Gypsy Camp is Burning;  1952 – Nový život – New Life; 1955 – Rómske srdce – Romani Heart; 1991 – Veľký primáš Baro – Dramatization of Fairytales.
Radio: 1989 -Žužika; 1992 – Iskry a popol rómskej lásky – Sparks and Ash – Romani Love; 1998 – usle s tromi srdcami – Violin with Three Hearts: original fairytale manuscript (1995), premier in Romani language.

Books:

  • Cigánsky tábor – Gypsy Camp, Bratislava 1956. [unavailable]
  • Mŕtvi sa nevracajú /o mule na aven pale – The Dead do not Return
    In: Romano nevo ľil, Prešov 1994, č. 134-135.
    In: Holokaust Romů v povídkách Eleny Lackové. Nakladatelství Fortuna, Praha 2011, s.126. Združenie JEKHETANE – SPOLU, Prešov 2005
  • Bieli krkavci / Parne garuda (Poviedka) – White Ravens [secrets] (short story)
    In: Romano nevo ľil, Prešov 1996, č. 213-318
    In: Holokaust Romů v povídkách Eleny Lackové. Nakladatelství Fortuna, Praha 2011
  • Život vo vetre (poviedka) – Life in the Wind (short story)
    In: Holokaust Romů v povídkách Eleny Lackové. Nakladatelství Fortuna, Praha 2011
    In: Mŕtvi sa nevracajú /o mule na aven pale. Združenie JEKHETANE – SPOLU, Prešov 2005.
  • Narodila jsem se pod šťastnou hvězdou /Uľiľom tel e bachtaľi čercheň – I was born under a Lucky Star. Autobiografia. podľa rozprávania autorky spracovala Dr. Milena Hübschmannová. Vydavateľstvo triáda, Praha 1997, s. 282.
    Published in English as “A False Dawn: Volume 16: My Life as a Gypsy Woman in Slovakia (Interface Collection)” [Available to buy in English at Amazon]
  • Rómske rozprávky / Romane paramisa – Romani Fairytales. Východoslovenské vydavateľstvo pre Kultúrny zväz občanov rómskej národnosti, Košice 1992, s.95.
    Vydavateľstvo Radix, Praha 1999, s.134.
  • Husle s tromi srdcami – Violin with Three Hearts. Rukopis – Združenie JEKHETANE – SPOLU, nepublikované
  • Ago, Ago, Ago, Tre Kale Jakha – Ago, Ago, Ago, Your Black Eyes [Available to read in Romanes here]
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