Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Two great books by new Ukrainian female writers

A new generation of Ukrainian female writers, who celebrate their homeland's 20 years independence and bring a new national colour of their works to the modern literature, is now coming on the international literary scene. Glagoslav is proud to contribute to this phenomenon and bring to your attention two titles of our collection of Ukrainian novels 2012.

The first one is a newly published book The Lost Button by Irene Rozdobudko that won the Ukrainian national Coronation of the Word Award 2005. The novel is a taut psychological thriller that tells the story of a young student scriptwriter’s encounter with a mysterious actress in the Carpathian Mountains in Soviet Ukraine in the 1970s and this fascination turned into an obsession that changes his entire life. The novel encompasses an entire era from the mid 70s of the previous century till the modern day with its geography stretching over the European region including Kiev, the Ukraine’s periphery, Russia and Montenegro, and at last the United States. The novel emphasizes that great happiness or great tragedy can begin from the smallest detail, from a button, that is so easy to lose, but which you can search for your entire life.


The winner of the Ukrainian national Coronation of the Word Prize 2005 The Lost Button by Irene Rozdobudko is now available in English

In early 80’s Ukraine is stricken by perestroika and struggles for "democracy", Afghanistan is in flames of a war where hundreds of eighteen-year-old youths are killed every day. Their peer, Dan, a student of cinematography, hardly cares about social problems anywhere on the planet. But one fatal encounter with a mysterious, femme fatale actress named Liza in a picturesque corner of the Carpathians changes his life forever. Unable to let go of his love after getting lost with her in the woods for one beautiful night, the young man’s fascination with the actress turns into an obsession. He deliberately goes through all the hell circles in Afghanistan, striving to burn out the traces of his unrequited love. Years later his native country just starts experiencing a real advertising boom amidst which he finds a new way to apply his creative talent and inner strengths. However, the past of his love rushes back into his life and now this obsession takes him from one continent to another.
The taut psychological thriller The Lost Button explores evergreen concepts of love, devotion and betrayal and emphasizes the idea that whenever and wherever one lives, a tiny detail like a lost button has the power to set off a chain of events that would lead to either one’s greatest happiness or one’s greatest tragedy. It is about not looking back, but always valuing what you have – today and forever.

The Lost Button received first place in the Coronation of the Word competition in 2005 and subsequently was made into a feature film.

About Irene Rozdobudko

Called "The Lady Detective of Ukrainian literature" by the media for her splendid earlier detective books, Irene Rozdobudko has recently burst into book market with a dozen award winning titles ranging from a light absurd comedy to a heavy psychological thriller and quickly claimed her rightful place among masters of modern literature in her native Ukraine. A graduate of Kyiv National University in journalism, Irene started small, from modest occasional jobs. Her talent for the written word eventually came into fruition when she landed a gig right up her professional alley in one of Kyiv’s major newspapers. At the present time Rozdobudko is an editor-in-chief of a competitive modern magazine. Irene’s artistic brilliance won the author a national price in literature "Coronation of the Word" three times. Irene points very skilfully those aspects of human nature that drive decisions and give direction to a person’s life, as well as other people’s destiny. Her cinematographic vision of action and psychologically complicated, delicately worked out characters who have firsthand knowledge of life’s irony and wisdom make her novels perfect for the big screen adaptation as well as for the honourable place on a book shelf of a top quality modern literature devotee.

 

Please allow me to highlight also the novel Hardly Ever Otherwise by Maria Matios, the "Grande Dame" of Ukrainian literature, who won the Ukrainian national Book of the Year Award 2007 and Grand Prix at the Ukrainian Coronation of the Word Prize 2007. The novel is a dramatic family saga that tells the story of several western Ukrainian families during the last decades of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and expands upon the idea that "it isn’t time that is important, but the human condition in time."

About Maria Matios: A linguist by profession with a degree in Ukrainian literature, Maria Matios has stormed the book market with her bestselling award winning novels set exclusively in the legendary Ukrainian highlands where she grew up. Dubbed the "Grande Dame" of Ukrainian literature, Matios knows this ruthless land too well, for she was born into a family whose ancestors settled here in the 1700s. Maria had worked in the literary industry in various capacities before she took to creative writing. Seven books of poetry and five books of prose earned Maria Matios an unofficial title of Ukraine's most prolific female author, and the official titles of Chevalier of the Ukrainian Order of Merit and Honorary Citizen of the city of Chernivtsi (Ukraine). Maria Matios’s works have been translated into many languages including Serbian, Romanian, Russian, Polish, Croatian, Belorussian, Azerbaijani, Japanese, and Chinese.

The winner of the Ukrainian national Book of the Year and the Coronation of the Word Awards "Hardly Ever Otherwise" by Maria Matios is now brought to the attention of English-reading audience worldwide
Glagoslav Publications presents the English translation of Maria Matios's book "Hardly Ever Otherwise".
The dramatic family saga Hardly Ever Otherwise by Maria Matios, having won the Ukrainian national Book of the Year Award 2007 and Grand Prix at the Ukrainian Coronation of the Word Prize 2007, narrates the story of several western Ukrainian families during the last decades of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and expands upon the idea that "it isn’t time that is important, but the human condition in time."
The family of a wealthy farmer Kyrylo Cheviuk is stricken by a tragedy. As time passes, nobody dares to talk about it. His young son Dmytryk´s body had been grinded by the local mill and the poor lad spent his last days hardly breathing with his bleeding chest full of pain and ... his secret love. The course of the events to follow reveals the cruel truth of his death: "They jumped about on top of poor Dmytryk, as if they were dancing a wild dance, stopping only after they heard that his bones no longer cracked..." A homecoming war veteran Ivan Varvarchuk beat Dmytryk to death for seducing his young wife Petrunia. But what did actually happen and most importantly – why?
Several vitally interconnected storylines develop throughout the novel, all fatally converging on the Cheviuk’s family tragedy. Painting a tortured picture of life’s harsh brutality in the region, Maria Matios features traditional topics of Ukrainian literature such as soldiering, brothers’ litigation over land ownership, betrayal and revenge.
Enchanted by the impeccable style of this family saga, the reader becomes baffled by the character’s actions. When familiar passions like love and hate, joy and envy overcome them and it’s not in their nature to resist, consequences reach the catastrophic magnitude. A prevailing code of honour, followed by the villagers to the letter, is the cornerstone of the novel’s dramatic narrative. The brightly coloured canvas of the society the stories are staged in is tainted by disturbing and unthinkable actions of both men and women; unthinkable, but inseparable from native to the region peculiarities of that era. The depth of characters’ inner torment and a continuous dilemma whether to follow the code or to follow the heart is present in every scene. And more than often the heart is confused with something else...
The novel’s opening story ‘Four brothers, like kith and kin’ has been successfully staged by the Les Kurbas Theater of Lviv (Ukraine).
About the author:
A linguist by profession with a degree in Ukrainian literature, Maria Matios has stormed the book market with her bestselling award winning novels set exclusively in the legendary Ukrainian highlands where she grew up. Dubbed the "Grande Dame" of Ukrainian literature, Matios knows this ruthless land too well, for she was born into a family whose ancestors settled here in the 1700s. Maria had worked in the literary industry in various capacities before she took to creative writing. Seven books of poetry and five books of prose earned Maria Matios an unofficial title of Ukraine's most prolific female author, and the official titles of Chevalier of the Ukrainian Order of Merit and Honorary Citizen of the city of Chernivtsi (Ukraine).
Maria Matios’s works have been translated into many languages including Serbian, Romanian, Russian, Polish, Croatian, Belorussian, Azerbaijani, Japanese, and Chinese.
About Glagoslav
Glagoslav Publications is a British-Dutch publishing company specializing in contemporary fiction and non-fiction by Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian authors, as well as significant works from the past that, despite their enduring relevance, are currently unavailable in English and Dutch.
www.glagoslav.nl      
Stationsplein 91-105 Den Bosch 5211 BM The Netherlands
www.glagoslav.com  
Office 36 88-90 Hatton Garden EC1N 8PN London United Kingdom

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