Voroshilovgrad

Serhiy Zhadan
2013
Deep Vellum Publishing

signed by the author

translated from Ukrainian

 

Herman, a big city-living political and marketing expert, receives a all one morning that his brother has mysteriously disappeared, leaving him in charge of the gas station his brother ran. Herman returns to his hometown Luhansk---formerly known as Voroshilovgrad during the Soviet era---to take over his brother's business and figure out how to get himself out of this mess, but all he finds at home are mysteries, gangsters, and ghosts, drawing Herman further and further into a world he can't escape.

 

Voroshilovgrad mixes post-Soviet magical realism and postmodern road novel in a heady fusion that tears over the now war-torn endless eastern Ukrainian steppe, eerily presaging the Russian invasion that would come must a couple years after this book was originally published. The poetic, expressive prose that marks literary rockstar and deomcracy advocate Serhiy Zhadan's vivacious style sets apart this modern literary classic that was named the BBC Ukraine's "Book of the Decade" and which won Zhadan the prestigious Jan Michalski Prize for Literature in Germany.

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