A devastating story of the struggle of civilians caught up in the conflict in eastern Ukraine
Chosen as one of “Six Books to Read for Context on Ukraine” by the New York Times
Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the “20 Best Books of 2021”
“Powerful . . . For those who want a glimpse of what life will be like in Ukraine for years to come, The Orphanage offers a frightening glimpse.”—Bill Marx, Arts Fuse
If every war needs its master chronicler, Ukraine has Serhiy Zhadan, one of Europe’s most promising novelists. Recalling the brutal landscape of The Road and the wartime storytelling of A Farewell to Arms, The Orphanage is a searing novel that excavates the human collateral damage wrought by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. When hostile soldiers invade a neighboring city, Pasha, a thirty-five-year-old Ukrainian language teacher, sets out for the orphanage where his nephew Sasha lives, now in occupied territory. Venturing into combat zones, traversing shifting borders, and forging uneasy alliances along the way, Pasha realizes where his true loyalties lie in an increasingly desperate fight to rescue Sasha and bring him home.
Written with a raw intensity, this is a deeply personal account of violence that will be remembered as the definitive novel of the war in Ukraine.
Serhiy Zhadan, recipient of the 2022 Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought and the 2022 German Peace Prize, is widely considered to be one of the most important young writers in Ukraine. He has received several international literature prizes and has twice won BBC Ukraine’s Book of the Year award. His previous books include Mesopotamia and What We Live For, What We Die For: Selected Poems. Reilly Costigan‑Humes translates literature from the Ukrainian and Russian. Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler is a translator and poet.
“Brilliantly rendered into English by Reilly Costigan‑Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler, draws on Dante to offer a vivid glimpse of the current inferno in Eastern Ukraine. . . . Costigan‑Humes and Stackhouse Wheeler do a masterly job.”—Amelia Glaser, Times Literary Supplement
“Written in Zhadan’s characteristically colloquial and lyrical prose, The Orphanage is a sensorial snapshot of the ongoing conflict and a chilling tale of survival.”—Matt Janney, Calvert Journal
Shortlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize 2022
Winner of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2022 Literature Award
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