MLAKAR, FRANK (May 15 1913-1967) a Slovenian-American author, was born in Cleveland, Ohio to SLOVENE parents. His parents had arrived separately to Cleveland in 1907, and married in 1910. When Mlakar was nine he accompanied his mother on a trip back to Slovenia, where he met his family.

Mlakar attended high school in Collinwood, where his talent for writing was recognized. Unfortunately, the Depression struck and Mlakar had to drop out of school to work and help his parents. He was able to return to school and graduate after the economy improved. During this period he wrote frequently for Vatro Grill’s Cleveland Slovenian-language paper, Enakopravnost, and also for a variety of  English-language publications.

For a short period Mlakar attended Dramaturgy classes at WESTERN RESERVE SCHOOL before moving to New York, where he met and became the personal secretary of Louis Adamic, a prominent Slovenian-American writer, for twelve years. 

From 1940-42 Mlakar was assistant editor for Adamic’s quarterly bulletin, Common Ground. In the years 1942-46 he served in the Marine Corps stationed in France.  In 1948 he and his wife visited Australia, where Mlakar finished his only novel, He, the Father, which received critical acclaim upon its publication in 1950, but sold poorly.

He returned to Cleveland for three years, and was asked by Slovene author Tone Seliskar to permanently move to Slovenia, however he declined. Instead, he and his wife moved to Australia, where he would spend the rest of his life. Mlakar did not publish many works throughout his life, a drama, Francie, and a few other short stories, but wrote with a realistic style, and was inspired by Dostoevsky and Rolvaag. 

Mlakar died in 1967 in Australia, and was survived by his widow.

Grace Howard

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