Anyone who wants to understand what Russia has put Ukraine through over the last 8 years should read the new Ukrainian war literature. Some excellent works are available in English. Here are a few authors worth reading. 🧵 1/
Volodymyr Rafeyenko's story ‘7 Dillweeds’ transl. Marci Shore, explores the grotesque absurdity of the war:… He switched from Rus to Ukr in his novel Mondegreen (transl Mark Andryczyk), about internal exile/language/identity:… 2/
Olena Stiazhkina is also from Donetsk. Her In God’s Language is a powerful novella about occupied Donetsk (my translation for @apofenie, originally @Dalkey_Archive, of an excerpt👇). She has several works on the war already 3/
The anthology Words for War, ed. Oksana Maksymchuk & Max Rosochinsky, collects a range of contemporary poets in excellent translations (some also appeared in @MPTmagazine). My translations of Vasyl Makhno's work are here @ASP_Boston… 4/
Natalia Vorozhbyt’s play Bad Roads was brilliantly transl. by @SashaDugdale & staged at @royalcourt Theatre, which also published the play. It’s now a major film. A fragmented, disturbing, powerful exploration of life on the frontline.… 5/
Artem Chekh’s Absolute Zero, transl. @OlenaJennings & Oksana Lutsyshyna, is one of the best of many soldiers’ memoirs published since 2014. A sensitive account that avoids macho heroics and reflects the banality of war. See @_jamesmeek's review in @LRB… 6/
@OKhromeychuk's memoir of losing her brother in the war is another that challenges militarisation and explores the civilian side of war with sensitivity and sharp analysis (written originally in English). @ibidem11 Excerpt here 7/
Stanislav Aseyev has written searing accounts of time spent in ‘separatist’ prisons in Donbas. See In Isolation, trans. Lidia Wolanskyj @HURI_Harvard…, & an excerpt from another book here transl. by Nina Murray & @TsurkanKate 8/
Serhii Zhadan’s Orphanage, tr. Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler, is one of the best novels about the current war - a tense odyssey through a collapsing, occupied city. @YaleBooks… 9/
@AKurkov’s Grey Bees, transl. @BorisDralyuk, is a brilliant, nuanced journey through the ‘grey zones’ of the war. Amid the black and white propaganda, he shows the uncertainty, confusion and ambiguities of life in this landscape. I reviewed it in @TheTLS
I’ve been writing about Ukrainian literature for 15+ years. It's full of surprises, but I never expected to be writing about war literature. I wish it hadn't had to appear, but it represents one of the most important developments in recent European literature. Read it! (end)

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More from @BlackerUilleam

Jan 24
People are discussing whether Russia colonised Ukraine. My advice: read Ukrainian authors, all will become clear! Shevchenko, Lesya Ukrainka, Khvyl'ovyi, Dziuba, Andrukhovych, Zabuzhko, & many more have been writing about this forever. 🧵 1/8
(image: Kazakh boy, T. Shevchenko)
Taras Shevchenko's poetry is a model of anti-colonial cultural resistance, & not only about Ukraine, see his brilliant 'Caucasus', for example. Vera Rich's translation: See also Rory Finnin's analysis @CamUkrainistyka: 2/8
Lesya Ukrainka used multiple historical parallels to speak covertly about Ukraine's anti-colonial struggle. A good place to start is @sasha_weirdsley's essay for @LAReviewofBooks… 3/8
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