Oksana Lutsyshyna: Іван і Феба (Ivan and Phoebe)

The latest addition to my website is Oksana Lutsyshyna‘s Іван і Феба (Ivan and Phoebe). This novel primarily tells the story of Ivan but, to a lesser degree, of Phoebe, who will become Ivan’s wife during the course of the book. We follow Ivan from the early days of the break-up of the Soviet Union to several years later. While he had been active in the independence movement in the early days, he has something of a breakdown, not least because he is harassed (but not arrested) by a KGB agent. He flees from Lviv, where he was studying back home to his parents in Kyiv. He eventually gets a job in a bank where he meets the daughter of a colleague, Maria, aka Phoebe and they start a relationship. However, nothing seems to work out for him, either with his job or with his relationships. He is clearly sexist and Phoebe resents this and turns in on her herself, while Ivan and Ukraine very much struggle with a very much changed world. Lutsyshyna gives a fascinating portrait of the early days of independent Ukraine and it is far from plain sailing.

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