Vasyl Stefanyk, a famous Ukrainian short story writer, was born on May 14 1871 in the village of Rusov, Snyatynsky district, Ivano-Frankivsk region.
In 1883 twelve-years old Vassil entered the Polish gymnasium in Kolomia. He and other village boys were insulted by the teachers and pupils from more respected families. He was a sensitive and responsive boy. At the gymnasium he started writing stories. In 1890 he went to Drogobich to go on with his studies at the gymnasium there. At that time he became acquainted with Ivan Franko. Ivan Franko became his mentor who helped him to understand literature and art. Stefanik wrote that he loved Franko more than any other Ukrainian writer.
In 1892, V. Stefanyk entered the medical faculty of Krakow University. The nine years spent by Stefanyk in Krakiw, a political and cultural centre of the country, made him a writer. In 1899, his first collection of short stories called the "Dark Blue Booklet" was published in Chernivtsi.
Vasyl Stefanyk wrote the bulk of his stories between 1897 and 1901. Then for many years he wrote little, and there were periods when he wrote nothing. The horror of World War I made him write again, though, and he created brilliant anti-war stories ("Dream" and "Children's Adventure").
In his stories Vasyl Stefanyk told a horrible truth about the life of his people, about their poverty and misery.
He established himself as a master of a new style in Ukrainian literature. He made his stories laconic but terrifying. He used dialects which gave special coloring to his characters.
The significance and value of his work is great, and there is hardly a man indifferent enough not be impressed by his stories.