Romania and Ukraine

I have just returned from a cruise down the Danube, into the Black Sea and up the Dnieper. Though this was not the purpose, there was a lot to see of literary interest. Only a small part of the journey was in Romania but we did stop at Constanța. In Roman times, Constanța was known … Read more

Tanja Maljartschuk: Біографія випадкового чуда (A Biography of a Chance Miracle)

The latest addition to my website is Tanja Maljartschuk‘s Біографія випадкового чуда (A Biography of a Chance Miracle). The novel is about corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, brutality and indifference in contemporary Ukraine and uses a cynical approach to these problems. However, it is also about Lena, a Ukrainian woman, who, unlike most other Ukrainians (in her … Read more

Margarita Khemlin: Дознаватель (The Investigator)

The latest addition to my website is Margarita Khemlin‘s Дознаватель (The Investigator). This is a complicated murder mystery, set in Chernihiv (Chernigov in this book), Khemlin’s home town, in the Ukraine in the early 1950s. The eponymous investigator, Police Captain Mikhail Ivanovich Tsupkoy, is not Jewish but the victim, Lilia Vorobeichik, stabbed, and most of … Read more

Lesia Daria: Forty One

The latest addition to my website is Lesia Daria‘s Forty One. This is a novel by a woman born in the USA, of Ukrainian parents but currently living in the UK. Her heroine, Eva Holden, is, however, Polish, albeit with Ukrainian grandparents and living in the UK. Eva is an intelligent and educated woman but … Read more

Yuri Andrukhovych: Перверзія (Perverzion)

The latest addition to my website is Yuri Andrukhovych‘s Перверзія (Perverzion). This is a wonderful post-modern romp, telling the story of what may be the last week in the life of Stakh Perfetsky, poet, dandy, trickster, performer, traveller and, of course, lover. He is giving a speech at a conference in Venice called The Postcarnival … Read more

Yuri Andrukhovych: Рекреації (Recreations)

The latest addition to my website is Yuri Andrukhovych‘s Рекреації (Recreations). This is a thoroughly enjoyable anarchic take on the first day of Festival of the Resurrecting Spirit in Chortopil (it means devil’s town). We follow four poets, who seem to be more interested in alcohol and sex than poetry. Two come by train – … Read more


John Dugdale, in the Guardian, has produced an interesting list of writers born in Ukraine but not usually associated with that country . It includes the likes of Gogol, Conrad, Lem, Lispector, Bulgakov and Isaac Babel, who is not on my site as he did not write any novels but who was a brilliant writer. … Read more