'At first we did not understand what war was.
You can't understand it until you see it and hear it.'
As Russian forces build up beyond the Ukrainian borders and the prospect of war becomes a devastating reality, Andrey Kurkov chronicles the shocking impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Part political and historical commentary, part personal journal, Kurkov explores the fraught interrelation of Russian and Ukrainian history, the complicated coexistence of their languages, and in describing how a peaceful society defies occupation, the author builds an image of a culture which, contrary to Putin's claims, is unique and democratic, liberal and diverse, one that will 'resist to the end'.
Redirecting his satirical flair to paint a defiant portrait of his compatriots, Kurkov tells of a people united against erasure. Bread is baked and shared in the ruins. An amputee is carried aboard an evacuating train, grandmothers escape occupied towns with their noisome roosters. And despite the networks of toloka, of community work for common good, being stretched to breaking point, and the embittering reticence of some European nations to make good their promises of aid and armaments, hope channels its perennial resistance: children are born deep within besieged cities and farmers go on working the fields made lethal by unexploded shells. Kurkov braids his personal story with those of other displaced Ukrainians and the communities that have gone to extraordinary lengths to care for them. Showing an irrepressible spirit, they 'wait for the moment when it will be safe to return,' he writes, 'just as I am waiting.'
Diary of an Invasion Paperback edition by Andrey Kurkov
Born near Leningrad in 1961, Andrey Kurkov was a journalist, prison warder, cameraman and screenplay-writer before he became well known as a novelist. He was a pioneer of self-publishing, selling more than 75,000 copies of his books in a single year. His novel Death and the Penguin, his first in English translation, became an international bestseller, translated into more than thirty languages. He is also known as a commentator and journalist on Ukraine for the international media. His work of reportage, Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev, was published in 2014.
|Welbeck Publishing Group