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Ukrainian dispatches from the heart of Kiev

-16°C, sunlight, silence. I drove the children to school, then went to see the revolution. I walked between the tents. Talked with rev­olutionaries. They were weary today. The air was thick with the smell of old campfires.

Ukraine Diaries
is acclaimed writer Andrey Kurkov’s first-hand account of the ongoing crisis in his country. From his flat in Kiev, just five hundred yards from Independence Square, Kurkov can smell the burning barricades and hear the sounds of grenades and gunshot.

Kurkov’s diaries begin on the first day of the pro-European protests in November, and describe the violent clashes in the Maidan, the impeachment of Yanukovcyh, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the separatist uprisings in the east of Ukraine. Going beyond the headlines, they give vivid insight into what it’s like to live through – and try to make sense of – times of intense political unrest.

Reviews

Andrey Kurkov's Ukraine Diaries offer a unique personal insight into one of the world's most complex trouble spots. The fact that Kurkov lives in the heart of Kiev, and the fact that he can write so well, give an eloquence and immediacy to his account of day to day life in the teeth of a crisis. This is history, with feeling

Michael Palin

[Kurkov writes] in the style of an informed but convivial flaneur, and his entries crackle with irony and humour

Marcus Tanner, Independent

Controlled rage and wry wit, nicely captured in Sam Taylor’s translation… Kurkov’s diaries are valuable

The Economist

As his diaries make clear, real life has outstripped his blackly comic fiction for surreal detail, political cynicism and latent menace

Ben Hoyle, The Times, Book of the week

The power...lies in the interweaving of the extraordinary and the mundane

John Thornhill, Financial Times

What it lacks in first-hand reportage…it makes up for in atmosphere. We learn what the revolution is like not from the point of view of the demonstrators but from the ordinary citizens, who are left to pick up the pieces after the foreign television crews have gone home

Colin Freeman, Telegraph

[Kurkov’s diaries] seamlessly mix the everyday with the seminal and provide a fascinating guide to how Ukraine has found itself where it is… The prose is charming… I am glad Kurkov will be at the centre of the events as they unfold, ready to distil both tragedy and delight into his pithy, humane prose

Oliver Bullough, Observer

Those 500 yards [from Kurkov’s flat to the Maidan] permit Kurkov to take a thoughtful stance towards evolutionary moments, their goals, and the people who come to the fore at such times

Padraig Belton, Times Literary Supplement

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781846559471

    August 1, 2014

    Harvill Secker

    272 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
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    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
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    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473520479

    July 31, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    272 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Andrey Kurkov

The Gardener from Ochakov
The Milkman in the Night
The Good Angel of Death
The President's Last Love
A Matter Of Death And Life
Penguin Lost
The Case Of The General's Thumb
Death And The Penguin

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