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Photo: Serhiy Zhadan


To some extent, contemporary Ukrainian literature developed itself during a period of frustration and uncertainty, when in the 1990s many Ukrainians faced a challenging time. In their attempts to depict this new reality poetically, young writers used various styles and literature methods – from vulgarization and naturalism to surrealism and black humour. 

Another peculiarity is the language of their works – full of dialect elements, idioms, sometimes obscene words. It was a language of the streets, which reflected the Ukrainian society of that time. Sexuality became a new part of the literary discourse as well. 

Now Ukrainian literature can be described as hopeful and ironic. At the same time, it mirrors the historical and social background of Ukraine’s fight for freedom and democracy within the modern period of independence. The voice of Ukrainian writers has often played a significant role in this process. Discussions and topics they raised in their books had a serious impact on the further development of the whole nation. Not always with proper attention before, some of the writers are believed to be prophets now.

Video: Mystetskyi Arsenal

Here is a list of well-known masterpieces by the genius Ukrainian writers in translation. Ready, steady… read!

Serhiy Zhadan Voroshilovgrad, Depeche Mode, Mesopotamia, Selected Poems 

Oksana Zabuzhko Museum of Abandoned Secrets, Your Ad Could Go Here

Yuri Andrukhovych Perverzion, Moskoviad  

Sofia Andrukhovych Felix Austria, Amadoca

Andrey Kurkov The Grey Bees, Ukraine Diaries, Death and the Penguin 

Taras Prokhasko Unsimple

Tanja Maljartschuk Blauwal der Erinnerung

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