We live in harrowing times. As the country faces horrific conflict, we remember the incredible people living in the region or have a connection to the area. The following writers emerged following the Soviet Union, showcasing truths and highlighting the importance of arts and creativity in helping us understand the situation better.
📚 Moscoviad – Yuriy Andrukhovych: The novel became a symbol of empire disintegrating, but still oppressed by the secret police (KGB) — reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984.
📚 Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex – Oksana Zabuzhko: Having taken part in a two-year Fulbright scholarship in the U.S., she wrote the provocative feminist novel, which is considered to be the most influential novel since independence.
📚 The Museum of Abandoned Secrets – Oksana Zabuzhko: Spanning decades of contemporary Ukrainian history, the novel is a multi-generational saga which critics have compared to Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family.
📚 Voroshylovhrad – Serhiy Zhadan: The Ukrainian poet and writer from Donbas, is considered one of the most provocative new writers. Voroshylovhrad is titled after the former name of the now-occupied Luhansk.
📚 Raven’s Way – Vasyl Shkliar: The book is considered to have initiated a whole new trend of not colonial but successful or at least fighting-for-freedom Ukrainian history.
📚 The Lost Button – Irene Rozdobuko: Her specialty is psychological drama. Her novel, available in English, has made her one of the top-10 most popular Ukrainian writers.
📚 The Tango of Death – Yuriy Vynnychuk: The book is set in Lviv and features characters of different nationalities, who are bonded by the fact that all their parents fought in the battles of the Ukrainian People’s Republic.
📚 The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II – Svetlana Alexievich: This book is a confession, a document and a record of people’s memory. More than 200 women speak in it, describing how young girls, who dreamed of becoming brides, became soldiers in 1941.