WHERE CURRENTS MEET
Frontiers in Post-Soviet Fiction of Kharkiv, Ukraine
By Tanya Zaharchenko, independent scholar
This study of cultural memory in post-Soviet society shows how the inhabitants in Ukraine’s east negotiate the historical legacy they have inherited. Zaharchenko approaches contemporary Ukrainian literature at the intersection of memory studies and border studies, and her analysis adds a new voice to an ongoing exploration of cultural and historical discourses in Ukraine.
The scholarly journey through storylines explores the ways in which younger writers in Kharkiv (Kharkov in Russian), a diverse, dynamic, but under-studied border city in east Ukraine today, come to grips with a traumatized post-Soviet cultural landscape. Zaharchenko’s book examines the works of Serhiy Zhadan, Andreĭ Krasniashchikh, Yuri Tsaplin, Oleh Kotsarev and others, introducing them as a “doubletake” generation who came of age during the Soviet Union’s collapse and as adults, revisit this experience in their novels. Filling the space between society and the state, local literary texts have turned into forms of historical memory and agents of political life.
"Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv is a historical home of modern Ukrainian culture, but its vibrant bilingual literature
has been persistently overlooked as a subject of study, often in Ukraine itself. In this refreshingly creative and
incredibly timely book, which combines insights from both memory studies and border studies, Tanya Zaharchenko
decisively moves 'shimmering' Kharkiv from the margins to its rightful place at the center of our attention.
A required read for anyone seeking to understand the remarkable cultural and linguistic diversity of today’s Ukraine." --
Rory Finnin, Director of Cambridge Ukrainian Studies Programme and Head of Department of Slavonic Studies,
University of Cambridge
226 pages, 2016
$50.00 / €44.00 / £34.00