The Orphanage A Novel Serhiy Zhadan, Reilly Costigan-Humes, Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler

The Margellos World Republic of Letters
Publication date:
27 Apr 2021
Yale University Press
336 pages: 197 x 127 x 21mm
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A devastating story of the struggle of civilians caught up in the conflict in eastern Ukraine

“A nightmarish, raw vision of contemporary eastern Ukraine under siege. . . . With a poet’s sense of lyricism . . . [Zhadan] unblinkingly reveals a country’s devastation and its people’s passionate determination to survive.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

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, widely considered to be one of the most important young writers in Ukraine, is the author of 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.

“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, The Calvert Journal

“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

"A literary master of enormous force."—Ilya Kaminsky

"Serhiy Zhadan is one of the most important creators of European culture at work today."—Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny