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Looking for a good book to read while you're traveling in Ukraine? Check out my list of books about Ukraine and by Ukrainian authors.

Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future

Svetlana Alexievich
CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant | Person/Place/Event

Also published under the name Voice of Chernobyl, Alexievich’s work of oral history made her the first Nobel Prize winner from Belarus. From A Year of Reading the World: The “book consists of the curated accounts of many of those who lived through (and continue to feel the effects of) the Chernobyl disaster. Through her conversations with people involved with the incident at every level — from local villagers and clean-up workers to scientists, lecturers, and former officials, as well as returnees, outlaws, and immigrants now deliberately living in the affected area, and even herself — Alexievich presents a powerful document that uses the horror of what happened to interrogate identity, history, and the way that this event has shaken and reshaped the future not only of her nation, but of the world.”


(Recommended by Ann Morgan, author and TED speaker)

The Wizard of the Kremlin

Giuliano da Empoli
CATEGORIES: Person/Place/Event

A finalist for the Prix Goncourt, da Empoli’s novel (Le mage du Kremlin) is a cross between fiction and political analysis, with many real-life personages — including Vladimir Putin — making appearances. The line between truth and fiction is so blurred that some critics claimed that reading the book is akin to “sitting on a sofa next to Putin,” and booksellers showcased the novel in their current events sections, particularly due to the novel’s timely publication less than two months after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

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