Ukrinform has prepared a selection of English-language books dedicated to Ukraine-related topics and published this year.

Ukraine still remains in the focus of global attention. To understand this war, to learn more about Ukraine and read Ukrainian writers, we have prepared a selection of new titles published in English. This selection includes translations from Ukrainian into English, along with English-language books about Ukraine and the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Invasion by Luke Harding

This is an account of Russia’s war against Ukraine by British journalist Luke Harding.

“[T]his elegantly written, deeply researched … history … [makes] Invasion a valuable reminder of those momentous months where ‘unthinkable things happened… things which seemed impossible in the 21st century’”, writes The Guardian about this book authored by Luke Harding, its foreign correspondent caught by the war in Ukraine.

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Invasion is his personal experience of traveling to Ukraine after the full-scale invasion — talking to people, visiting hot spots and areas of hostilities. Harding captures this pivotal moment in history with candour, insight, and an unwavering focus on the human stories at its core.

The journalist claims that one of the main goals of his book is to convey to foreign readers that what happened in Ukraine could happen to them, their sons, sisters, and daughters.

The book was released by Guardian Books and shortlisted for the 2023 Orwell Prize. The Ukrainian translation by Vivat Publishing House was announced at the 2023 Lviv Book Forum in October. The writer presented his book in person.

Poland Mulling ‘Temporary’ Border Closure with Ukraine for Goods
Other Topics of Interest

Poland Mulling ‘Temporary’ Border Closure with Ukraine for Goods

Poland's ties with Ukraine have become increasingly strained over border blockades, with at least four incidents of Polish farmers spilling Ukrainian grain from lorries and freight trains.

Luke Daniel Harding (April 21, 1968) is a British journalist, a correspondent for The Guardian, who worked in Russia from 2007 until denied re-entry and deported upon his return from the UK on February 5, 2011. The Guardian said his expulsion was linked with his critical articles on Russia, a claim denied by the Russian government. Harding’s book Mafia State, published in 2011, discusses his experience in Russia and the political system under Vladimir Putin.

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Read the Ukrinform interview with Luke Harding.

The Russo-Ukrainian War by Serhii Plokhy

The American historian and professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University wrote a book about the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II. It was released in the U.S. in February 2023, and in Ukraine in August.

In the book, the historian analyzes Russia’s full-scale invasion, its origins, course, and potential consequences for Ukraine, Russia, Europe, and the world; he also describes the process of Western unification against the backdrop of the war and Russia’s movement toward isolation.

“On the one hand, this book is a way of overcoming trauma. The other reason why I decided I had to write it is that the war stemmed from many things, but one of them was the mockery made of history in Vladimir Putin’s speeches and also in his article on the unity of Russians and Ukrainians. From the very beginning, there was a very important historical context to which I, as a historian, could respond,” Mr. Plokhy said during the presentation of his book at Ukrinform.

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The British edition of The Telegraph included Serhii Plokhy’s new book in its 50 best books of 2023.

“Perhaps the most definitive account of the history leading up to today’s war in Ukraine, from the author of Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy,” is how Mr. Plokhy’s book is described in the rankings.

The Zelensky Effect by Henry Hale and Olga Onuch

The book was written by Henry Hale, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, and Olga Onuch, Professor of Comparative and Ukrainian Politics at the University of Manchester. The book is dedicated to the history of leadership and national identity in the context of corruption and war.

“You cannot understand the historic events of 2022 without understanding Zelensky. But the Zelensky effect is less about the man himself than about the civic nation he embodies: what makes Zelensky most extraordinary in war is his very ordinariness as a Ukrainian,” the book’s description reads.

The book was released in English late last year, and Choven Publishing House has already announced the translation of the book into Ukrainian.

War Diary by Yevgenia Belorusets

In March, the Kyiv war diaries of Yevgenia Belorusets, translated into English by Greg Nissan, were co-published in the U.S. by New Directions and ISOLARII.

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“[War Diary] … is a monumental, deeply penetrating document of life in Kyiv during the first forty-one days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” New Directions notes.

War Diary will be published with a new preface by Belorusets and new entries that discuss the ongoing war, Russian nationalist propaganda and its relation to the 2014 war in Donbas.

From February 24 to April 5, Belorusets, who remained in her native Kyiv, wrote and photographed daily for the German weekly Der Spiegel, describing everyday life, the normality of which was lost overnight in a brutal war of aggression. These texts were later collected in the printed book In the Face of War. The collection also included Kyiv Wartime Diary. In November last year, Belorusets was awarded the 2022 Horst Bingel German Literary Prize for this work.

Yevgenia Belorusets is a Ukrainian artist, journalist, photographer, translator, and writer. She co-founded Prostory, a literary and artistic magazine, and is a member of the Khudrada curatorial group. As previously reported by Ukrinform, Yevgenia received the Women of Europe Award in 2023.

77 Days of February, a collection of personal essays

77 Days of February, an English translation of collected essays, was released in the U.S. in the electronic and audiobook formats.

The audiobook was narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, winner of the 2019 Best Male Narrator Audie Award and 2022 Audie Award nominee. The publisher is Scribd, a U.S.-based company which specializes in affordable services of all e-book formats, podcasts, and presentations from around the world.

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77 Days of February includes reports written by journalists of Ukraine’s Reporters Magazine between February 23 and May 9 — two symbolic dates in Russian military ideology.

"The invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine suspended the count of days and threw Ukrainians into an intertemporal period where February, the month when the great war began, is still going on. Pain, fear, hatred, and sometimes despair is felt in this period and in these candid stories. But most importantly, there is hope. This is a naked nerve and an honest voice of the new Ukrainian reality, recorded first-hand by the journalists and authors of Reporters Magazine,” reads the description.

The War Came to Us by Christopher Miller

The War Came to Us: Life and Death in Ukraine by the American journalist Christopher Miller was published simultaneously in the U.S. and UK by Bloomsbury.

“The book traces my journey in parallel with Ukraine, through peacetime, revolution and war. It is a story about the people and events that have shaped a new Ukrainian identity and nation along the way, as well as the conflict and threats they are currently experiencing. I want to share their stories with the world,” Mr. Miller wrote about the book.

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Christopher Miller is a former correspondent of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. He worked in Kyiv for more than 10 years, covering events in Ukraine and other post-Soviet states. He also contributed to Politico and BuzzFeed News. Since October 2022, he has been working at the Financial Times.

The cover of the book features a photo of the Ukrainian flag from Ilovaisk by Ukrainian photographer Maks Levin who died in Kyiv Oblast in March 2012.

Ukraine 22: Ukrainian Writers Respond to War

In the UK, Penguin Books published a collection of 22 essays written by nine Ukrainian authors and translated into English for the first time.

These selected works convey the realities of life in Ukraine during the first year of the full-scale invasion.

As the publisher notes in the description of the book, the authors document everyday life, ponder the role of culture amid conflict, denounce Russian imperialism and revisit their relations with the world, especially Europe and its ideals, as they try to comprehend the horrors of war.

MARIUPOL #HOPE by Nadiya Sukhorukova

Nadiya Sukhorukova kept notes in March-April 2022, when Mariupol was being captured by Russian troops, and posted the texts on social media. The book recreates the story of what Mariupol residents experienced after the Russian army invaded the city.

The book was translated from Ukrainian to English by Kseniia Kaian, the author’s colleague and one of the protagonists in the Mariupol. Unlost Hope documentary filmed on the basis of diaries by the Organization of Ukrainian Producers.

Fragments from #MARIUPOL #HOPE were quoted during a speech made in the European Parliament in 2022 by Edgars Rinkēvičs, former Foreign Minister of Latvia and the country’s incumbent President. British actress Greta Bellamacina also narrated excerpts from the diary during a charity gala in support of Ukraine, which took place in the UK in 2022.

Behind the Scenes of the Empire by Vira Ageyeva

In her book, literary scholar Vira Ageyeva analyzes the Ukrainian resistance to the empire and the struggle for the preservation of collective memory through the prism of the cultural process.

Vira Ageyeva is a literary scholar and literary critic. She holds a doctoral degree in Philology. Since 1996, she has been a professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Ms Ageyeva is a member of the jury at the BBC News Ukraine Book of the Year contest. She researches the problems of stylistic differentiation in the 20th century’s Ukrainian literature and specific features of the development of Ukrainian modernism. She has authored more than 20 literary studies.

The book was published in English by ibidem Press.

A Crash Course in Molotov Cocktails by Halyna Kruk

 

A collection of poetry by Halyna Kruk was released in May by Arrowsmith Press, a U.S.-based publishing house.

Most of the verses in the collection were written after February 24, in Ukrainian and English simultaneously.

“These stunning poems of witness by one of Ukraine’s most revered poets are by turns breathless, philosophical, and visionary. In a dark recapitulation of evolution itself, Kruk writes: ‘nothing predicted the arrival of humankind…/ nothing predicted the arrival of the tank…’” reads the description of the book.

The collection was translated by Yulia Ilchuk, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at Stanford University, and Amelia M. Glaser, Professor of Literature at UC San Diego.

In the Hour of War: Poetry from Ukraine

Arrowsmith Press, a U.S.-based publishing house, released a poetry collection under the title In the Hour of War: Poetry from Ukraine, edited by poets Ilya Kaminsky and Carolyn Forché.

The anthology includes poems by Anastasia Afanasieva, Yuri Andrukhovych, Alex Averbuch, Natalka Bilotserkivets, Dmitry Bliznyk, Andriy Bondar, Ekaterina Derisheva, Boris Humenyuk, Yurii Izdryk, Aleksandr Kabanov, Kateryna Kalytko, Iya Kyva, Marianna Kiyanovska, Lyudmila Khersonska, Boris Khersonsky, Halyna Kruk, Oksana Lutsyshyna, Oleh Lysheha, Yulia Musakovska, Viktor Neborak, Lesyk Panasiuk, Marjana Savka, Iryna Shuvalova, Ostap Slyvynsky, Lyuba Yakimchuk, Oksana Zabuzhko, and Serhiy Zhadan.

“This is the silence before the explosion, between volleys of rifle fire, the silence of foreboding, of fear and insomnia, and the silence of complicity. The poems were written in the hour of war, in the lyrics of passing through fire…” the compilers note in their introduction.

Who Will Make the Snow? by Taras and Marjana Prokhasko

Who Will Make the Snow? is the first children’s book by Taras Prokhasko and Marjana Prokhasko’s first experience as an illustrator. This is a warm fairy tale about a family of moles and their thirteen little kids, about friendship and mutual help, care and home comfort, and about who really makes the snow.

“Originally published in Ukraine, this sweet, strange, lightly philosophical book, illustrated with soft, scribbly drawings, features newborn twin moles who live in a whimsically imagined woodland community. The title comes from the moles’ belief that when they die, they will rise to the clouds and make the snow for those left behind”, wrote The New York Times.

The book was first published in Ukrainian in 2013, won the BBC Book of the Year and LitAccent of the Year awards, was included in the White Ravens world catalog, travelled the world, and was translated into many languages.

The English translation by Boris Dralyuk and Jennifer Croft for Elsewhere Editions was included in the Best Children’s Books of 2023 selection by The New York Times.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR 2024

In January 2024, the long-awaited book about the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, written by Time Magazine correspondent Simon Shuster, will see the light. The books The Showman (in the U.S.) and The Fight Is Here (in the UK) will be printed by HarperCollins Publishers.

This month, the American Tilbury House will publish a book by Ukrainian children’s writer Oksana Lushchevska Quiet Night, My Astronaut.

In the spring of 2024, a novel by the Ukrainian writer Sophia Andruhovych entitled Felix Austria will be released in the U.S. The book was translated into English by Ukrainian literary critic and translator Oleksandr Chernetskyi.

In May 2024, Olena Stiazhkina’s book Ukraine, War, LoveA Donetsk Diary will be released. The book was translated by Anne O. Fisher and will be published as part of the series from the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University.

In June 2024, Penguin Books, one of the UK’s most famous publishing houses, will release Job’s Call Sign by Oleksandr Mykhed. This year, the author became a winner of the 2023 Shevelov Prize for the best book of essays.

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