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Modern Ukrainian Literature

Currently, the Ukrainian literature is reinventing itself due to the declaration of independence and lifting of the censorship that took place in the Soviet Union. Most contemporary mainstream literary works in the Ukrainian literature lie within the postmodernism dimension.

Yuri Andrukhovych, Serhiy Zhadan, Oksana Zabuzhko, Oleksandr Irvanets, Izdryk, Maria Matios, Ihor Pavlyuk are the top contemporary published writers to date.

Yuri Andrukhovych is an Ivano-Frankivsk-born Ukrainian prose writer, poet, and essayist. To date, the writer has published five novels, two volumes of essays, four poetry collections, and a cycle of short stories, as well as literary translations from English, German, Polish, and Russian.

Serhiy Zhadan is a Ukrainian poet, novelist, and essayist. Born in Eastern Ukrainian Starobilsk, Zhadan taught Ukrainian and world literature in early 2000s. In 2008 his novel “Anarchy” made it to the short list of the National Bestseller Prize. Critics receive Zhadan’s works as an outstanding mix of individual style and modern literary tendencies. His prose is sometimes referred to as “poetic”, while his free verse is called “prosaic”.

Oksana Zabuzhko is a contemporary Ukrainian poet, writer and essayist. Born in Western Ukraine, Zabuzhko, who holds a doctorate degree in aesthetics, taught Ukrainian literature at the Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh in 1994. Her controversial bestselling novel “Field Work in Ukrainian Sex” was translated in eight languages. The book focuses on the issues of self-identification, post-colonialism, and feminism. Her book “Let My People Go” won the Best Ukrainian documentary book award in 2006, her work “The Museum of Abandoned Secrets” – Best Ukrainian Book 2010.

The Ukrainian writer Maria Matios is the winner of the “Book of the Year 2004” and of the Taras Shevchenko National Award in 2005 (for her novel “Sweet Darusia”). The author of 12 volumes of poetry and prose is considered to be the most productive modern Ukrainian writer. Her most widely known works include: “Sweet Darusia” (2003-2005), “Nation” (2002-2003) and “The Short Life” (2001). Matios bases her books on her family history that has been preserved by the family through the centuries and goes back to 1790.

Ihor Pavlyuk is a Ukrainian writer and research worker who won the People’s Taras Shevchenko Prize, the Hryhorii Skovoroda prize, the International Nikolai Gogol literary prize “Triumph”. One of his most outstanding works is the novel “Forbidden Bloom” (2007).