Lina Kostenko (1936) is one of Ukraine’s most important contemporary poets. Between 1957 and 1961, she published three volumes of poetry that won her considerable popularity. Her refusal to give into ideological criticism and the demands of Soviet censorship led to her work being blocked from publication until 1977. During this time she was an active and outspoken member of the Ukrainian dissident movement. She continued publishing into the post-Soviet period, and in 2010, she published her first novel, Notes of a Ukrainian Madman, an account of the social and political upheaval in independent Ukraine, which immediately became a bestseller. Kostenko was born not far from the Chernobyl Zone, and in the 1990s she worked in the affected area on the preservation of cultural heritage. The disaster is a major preoccupation of her work.