The Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University is pleased to announce the launch of the Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature, a new book series dedicated to publishing outstanding Ukrainian literature in English translation.
The series will represent some of Ukraine’s best writing from the early modern period and to the present day and complements the Harvard Library of Early Ukrainian Literature, which publishes works of literature of the Medieval (Rus´) period that originated on the territory of contemporary Ukraine. All titles of the new series will be published by the Ukrainian Research Institute and distributed by Harvard University Press, ensuring their worldwide availability in print and digital formats.
Inaugural titles of the Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature
The Voices of Babyn Yar
The Voices of Babyn Yar by Marianna Kiyanovska, translated by Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky, and introduced by Polina Barskova, is a bilingual collection of stirring poems dedicated to reliving the horrific experience of the Babyn Yar massacre of 1941. In 2020, the original collection was awarded the National Shevchenko Prize, Ukraine’s highest award in literature and culture.
Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond
Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond, edited and introduced by Ostap Kin, and translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin, is a bilingual collection of poetic responses to the Babyn Yar tragedy by over 20 Ukrainian poets in the period from 1941 to 2018. This unique collection features previously unknown poems that appear here in English translation for the first time.
In Isolation: Dispatches from Occupied Donbas
In Isolation: Dispatches from Occupied Donbas by Stanislav Aseyev, translated by Lidia Wolanskyj, is a collection of essays the Ukrainian journalist and writer wrote while remaining in the Donbas at the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The short reports document striking changes that the people and the place have undergone as the war drags on, forcing some to leave and others to adapt to the new circumstances. In 2021, this collection was awarded Ukraine’s National Shevchenko Prize.
Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love
Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love by Volodymyr Rafeyenko, translated and introduced by Mark Andryczyk, tells the fictional story of Haba Habinsky, a refugee from Ukraine’s Donbas region, who has escaped to the capital city of Kyiv at the onset of the Ukrainian-Russian war. His physical dislocation—and his subsequent willful adoption of the Ukrainian language—place the protagonist in a state of disorientation during which he is forced to challenge his convictions. This is the first novel in the Ukrainian language by Rafeyenko, who has been widely recognized for his writing in Russian.
About the Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature
This series advances the Institute’s core mission to disseminate knowledge on Ukraine at Harvard and worldwide, showcasing the talent of Ukrainian writers and facilitating further conversation on the timely and poignant topics they explore. “Ukraine’s large presence on the international stage today creates an opportune moment to reach a broad audience interested in the country and its culture,” said Serhii Plokhii, HURI director. “This series seizes that opportunity and aims to provide Anglophone readers with access to outstanding Ukrainian literary works as well as supplemental materials to better understand them.”
We are grateful to our external partners who are supporting the English translations. “Pooling resources and aligning the vision of Ukrainian culture and scholarship among institutions in Ukraine and abroad carries the promise of the highest possible impact,” said Oleh Kotsyuba, publications manager. “We are particularly proud of the launch of this series because it was propelled by our partnership with dynamic Ukrainian cultural institutions, including the Ukrainian Book Institute, PEN Ukraine, and Razom for Ukraine.”
The Institute’s publication program is made possible by generous endowments and charitable donations by individuals over the past 50 years.
Recent books published by the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University include Yuri Kostenko’s Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament: A History, Oksana Kis’s Survival as Victory: Ukrainian Women in the Gulag, and Trevor Erlacher’s Ukrainian Nationalism in the Age of Extremes. To find out about other recent and forthcoming titles published by the Institute please visit https://books.huri.harvard.edu.