Anja Snellman


Hemevamos/Heikki Saarinen


Voices from Ukraine

Ukrainian author Oksana Zabuzhko rose to international fame with her first novel, Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex, which was published in 1996. Ten years later, the book was named the “the most influential Ukrainian book of the 15 years of independence.”

Journalist Rosie Goldsmith, who interviewed Zabuzhko for the European Literature Network, calls her a “truthteller.”

“People listen to her. They may not always like what they hear, but they always listen to her,” Goldsmith writes.

“She is among Ukraine’s leading writers, critics, feminists, thinkers, novelists, poets, commentators and essayists. She is pretty much ‘leading everything.’”

ZABUZHKO SAYS she has always had a strong identity as a “women’s writer.” 

“Even after two centuries of wonderful women’s writing in the European tradition, women are still underexplored and underarticulated in literature and in culture,” Zabuzhko told the European Literature Network.

“Men have told us everything about themselves, starting with their first infantile experiences and ending with all their fears and complexes, while women remain undertold. For me that has always been a challenge, a writing challenge.”

ZABUZHKO HAS WRITTEN more than 20 books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into 15 languages.

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets was published in 2012. It is a multigenerational story spanning sixty years of Ukrainian history from the perspective of three women linked by the abandoned secrets of the past.

Your Ad Could Go Here was published in 2020. It is a collection of stories examining the concept of truth, in contexts ranging from the Orange Revolution to matchmaking and sibling rivalry and to national and personal mythologies and narratives.

THE STORIES are collected from various decades of Zabuzhko’s writing. Goldsmith says it’s striking how Zabuzhko’s ideas speak to us all.

“That’s a great gift to write something specifically Ukrainian but nevertheless internationally and individually appealing.”

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