Where Currents Meet

Frontiers in Post-Soviet Fiction of Kharkiv, Ukraine
$69.00 / €56.00 / £50.00
$24.95 / €23.95 / £20.95
Paperback is forthcoming in September 2023
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226 pages

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.

Notes on Format

Kharkiv’s Doubletake Generation and the Shimmer of Frontiers
Time and Space
Memory and Literature
The Shimmer of Frontiers
Where Currents Meet

Chapter One
Frontiers of Identity
Fluid Identities
Narratives at War
Sloboda: Roots of Fluidity

Chapter Two
Frontiers of Emptiness
The Last Barricade
A Story in Old Drawings
Of Monsters and Men
Memory and Emptiness
The Nonmissing Variable

Chapter Three
Frontiers of Life (and Death)
The Charon Hypothesis
The Mourning Writer

Chapter Four
Frontiers of Trauma
Expressing the Unspeakable
Surviving the Unspeakable
Traversing the Unspeakable
Writing about the Unspeakable

Chapter Five
Frontiers of iIn)Sanity
Monologues of Madness
Death, Movement, Place




"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."