Ukraine and anti-war Russians in ‘Novaia Gazeta’

The first stanza of Bykov’s poem.

Subscribers to this blog will have seen a reblog earlier in the week from the CUL Electronic Collections Management site announcing access to the Russian-language newspaper Novaia Gazeta.

The Russian war against Ukraine was not only the focus of the paper in its final weeks in Russia before it closed but of course also the reason for its closure, as Russian governmental pressure relating to the so-called “special military operation” made it impossible for the newspaper to perform its duties properly.

The paper appears three times in our A-Z databases list (all three here) because East View, the platform via which we have access, provides the years 1994-2021 as a single digital archive, while providing access to the first few months of 2022 as another, and the new Europe edition as a third.  The Europe edition started in Riga in early May, while the last Russian edition appeared in late March, a few days before the atrocities committed in Bucha were revealed.  The latest horrors, including the torture of a Ukrainian POW, are now covered in the most recent Europe issue (but note that an ’18+’ tag is applied to articles with distressing images – take the warning seriously). Continue reading

New Ukrainian books about the world before 2022

To our joy, several boxes of Ukrainian books were received recently from our supplier.  They are largely publications from 2020 and 2021, so the 2022 full-scale invasion of the country by Russia is not yet reflected.  That said, some of these new arrivals are of course books about the state of post-Soviet Ukrainian politics and history, Ukrainian-Russian relations, and the events of 2014 onwards.  A selection of such titles, newly in the catalogue, is briefly described below.

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Ukrainian literature in translation

Following on from my recent post about new English-language acquisitions relating to modern Ukrainian history, I wanted to highlight a small sample of our holdings of modern Ukrainian literature in translation. (Click on the titles below to be taken to the record in iDiscover.)

One author whose works have gradually made their way into English translation is Oksana Zabuzhko, who has won a number of awards, including the Shevchenko National Prize. Her output spans novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction; we have recently acquired both her short story collection Your Ad Could Go Here and her Selected Poems, both of which appeared in English for the first time in 2020, and both of which are the work of multiple translators.

The stories in Your Ad Could Go Here deal with the Euromaidan protests and the war with Russia since 2014. Other literary responses to the conflict include Lyuba Yakimchuk’s book of poetry, Apricots of Donbas; Volodymyr Rafeyenko’s novel Mondegreen : Songs About Death and Love; and Oleg Sentsov’s short story collection, Life Went on Anyway. Each author has been personally affected by the war: Lyuba Yakimchuk’s parents and sister were forced to flee their home in the Luhansk region when it was occupied by Russian-backed militants; Volodymyr Rafeyenko moved from his native Donetsk to near Kyiv at the outbreak of war; and Oleg Sentsov was arrested on terrorism charges in Crimea in 2014 and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment (he was released in a prisoner swap in 2019). Continue reading

New English-language acquisitions relating to Ukrainian history

As the Russian war against Ukraine continues, I thought it would be useful to highlight some new English-language acquisitions which focus on recent Ukrainian history. While it will obviously take some time for books to be written about the invasion and this new and terrible stage in the conflict between the two countries, there has been a war ongoing in Ukraine since 2014, and we have a number of titles, predominantly ebooks, dealing with the subject. (Click on any of the titles to be taken through to the iDiscover record.)

Last year, Harvard University Press launched the Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature, “a new book series dedicated to publishing outstanding Ukrainian literature in English translation”; we will, of course, be looking to acquire each work in this series as it is released. The very first title to be published was the journalist and writer Stanislav Aseyev’s In Isolation: Dispatches from Occupied Donbas, a collection of essays originally written between 2015 and 2017: a recent review in the TLS describes it as “a rare and unsettling insider’s account of conditions in the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’”. It ends with his capture and imprisonment, and a subsequent work (The Torture Camp on Paradise Street) detailing his experience of incarceration is due for publication later in the year. Another first-person account of the conflict in Donbas, this time from Glagoslav Publications, is Artem Chekh’s Absolute Zero, based on the diary he kept during his time as a soldier there; and, as a previous blogpost highlighted, we hold A Loss : The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister, a memoir by Dr. Olesya Khromeychuk.

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Newly catalogued Ukrainian books : the May 2022 Slavonic items of the month

In my previous post, I made reference to the quite amazing news that we are expecting new book arrivals from Ukraine in the near future.  This brief post draws the attention of our Ukrainian-reading followers to some of the last books we had received from our supplier.

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