4 August 2022
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
A selection of fifteen of Ukraine's most important, dynamic and entertaining contemporary writers
Under USSR rule, the subject matter and style of literary expression in Ukraine was strictly controlled and censored. But once Ukraine gained independence in 1991 its literary scene flourished, as the moving and delightful poems, essays and extracts collected here show.
There are fifteen authors included in this book, both established and emerging, and in this anthology we see them grappling with history and the future, with big questions and small moments.
From essays about Chernobyl to poetry about Robbie Williams, from fiction discussing Jimmy Hendrix live in Lviv to underground Ukrainian poetry of the Soviet era, WRITING FROM UKRAINE offers a unique window into a rich culture, a chance to experience a particularly Ukrainian sensibility and to celebrate Ukraine's nationhood, as told by its writers.
📖 My Review..
Fifteen Ukrainian writers share their thoughts and feelings in this thought provoking collection of Fiction, Poetry and Essays which give range to all emotions and all expressions.
With a comprehensive introduction we go into the body of the work with, at the start of each section, a short vignette which describes the contributor. With none of the writers familiar to me I have been able to dip into and out of their individual works, finding much to enjoy, ponder and peruse. Some of the content fired my imagination more than others but each have been thoughtfully translated and are very readable. The book is nicely sectioned and I particularly liked the the tree illustration which starts each section, the idea of a tree slowly developing just as the contributors of this volume have been allowed to grow and develop.
Needless to say, knowing the political background and the seriousness of the current conflict in Ukraine, the county and its people are very much in the hearts and minds of everyone. And as they experience their current fight for survival, in this edition of Fiction, Poetry and Essays there is much to learn about the bravery, and resilience of this proud country.
With its timely re-issue, this is such a brave and inspiring collection that I am delighted to make Writing from Ukraine my Featured book of the Month in August.
Published by Penguin Books, priced £10:99, it's available to pre-order or to buy from the 4th August from wherever you buy your books. Just to note that Writing from Ukraine was previously published as The White Chalk of Days.
About the Editor
Writer and translator, Mark Andryczyk teaches Ukrainian literature at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Columbia University.