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Articles tagged "Ukraine"

Crow, Wheels

When the city was destroyed, they started fighting over the cemetery. It was right before Easter and wooden crosses over the freshly dug graves put out their paper blossoms— red, blue, yellow, neon green, orange, raspberry pink. Joyful relatives poured vodka for themselves and for the dead—straight into their graves. And the dead asked for more, and more, and more and the relatives just kept pouring. The celebration went on. But at some point a young man tripped over the...

[The whole soldier doesn’t suffer]

The whole soldier doesn’t suffer— it’s just the legs, the arms, just blowing snow, just meager rain. The whole soldier shrugs off hurt— it’s just missile systems “Hail” and “Beech,” just bullets on the wing, just happiness ahead. Just meteorological pogroms, geo-Herostratos wannabes, just the girl with the pointer poking the map in the stomach. Just thunder, lightning, just dreadful losses, just the day with a dented helmet, just God,...

Buying Time

As a writer of science fiction in the Ukrainian language, Taras Antypovych is a relatively rare phenomenon. In a country where the vast majority of readers can read in Russian, and where the market in genre fiction is overwhelmingly dominated by imports from Russia, it is difficult for unknown Ukrainian-language writers to gain a foothold in this field. For Ukrainian writers who are able, the commercial temptations of the wider Russian-language market, covering most of the post-Soviet...

Texts Written without the Author’s Knowledge

The screech of streetcars falls silent. Juice trickles from a windfall pomegranate branching— as though a monster had grown through the rails or lung tissue rotted and the bronchi and vessels of a woolly and leathery body were bared. Vladimir goes to Crimea. He is seduced by Alimeh. Alexey marries Venus. Saturn isn't eating. Deported adolescents become integrated into society. Pulpy prejudice follows, then yummy nebulae, translucent excesses, affinities bitten off. How is this...

The Languages of Alta Ifland

Alta Ifland’s writing raises important questions about the legitimacy and practice of autobiography that are too often taken for granted by American writers. In an alert literary age, the fifty-three thought-provoking short prose texts of her Voice of Ice / Voix de Glace would have attracted considerable attention outside the circles of small magazines and bookshop readings, in which this book indeed attracted attention when it came out in 2007. The author, described in a...

Polish

Ukrainian

Romanian

An Address

The telegram came at eight in the morning. He was still lying in bed; he didn't really feel like getting up. He couldn't stand Sundays anymore; they were empty days difficult to fill. So he stayed in bed as long as he could, waiting for the morning commotion to die down in the apartment, and the scrambles for the bathroom and kitchen to cease. That usually took quite some time, since the apartment housed three families, one in each of the three large rooms. He himself occupied...

Memories of Chernobyl

NOTE: As a young doctor studying in Kiev in 1986, Mohamed Makhzangi found himself in the midst of a public health catastrophe when the Chernobyl nuclear plant melted down that spring. The longer work from which this excerpt is taken is an "anti-memoir," as he puts it, of his impressions as both an outsider and a victim. Through an array of brief vignettes, snippets of conversations, and fragmentary encounters, he convincingly conveys the mounting panic at the time, the loneliness of...

from Final Stories

As her Polish husband Petro lies dead in the snow outside their home, Ukrainian Paraskevia thinks about their life together. In this extract she remembers the war, when the Soviet army occupied the eastern Polish-Ukrainian borderlands, where she and Petro lived, and deported many Poles to Siberia. Every seven years you should have a repeat wedding ceremony because-so Aunt Marynka used to say-every seven years you become a different person. So you should renew every sort of contract,...
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