By Andrey Kurkov
Winner of the NBCC Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize for Grey Bees
One of the most important Ukrainian voices throughout the Russian invasion, the author of Death and the Penguin and Grey Bees collects his searing dispatches from the heart of Kyiv.
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
This journal of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, a collection of Andrey Kurkov's writings and broadcasts from Kyiv, is a remarkable record of a brilliant writer at the forefront of a twenty-first-century war. Andrey Kurkov has been a consistent satirical commentator on his adopted country of Ukraine. His most recent work, Grey Bees, in which only two villagers remain in a village bombed to smithereens, is a dark foreshadowing of the devastation in the eastern part of Ukraine.
The author has lived in Kyiv and in the remote countryside of Ukraine throughout the Russian invasion. He has also been able to fly to European capitals, where he has worked to raise money for charities and addressed crowded halls. Fielding requests to write for every English newspaper and to be interviewed all over Europe, he has become an important voice for his people.
Kurkov sees every video and every posted message, and he spends the sleepless nights of continuous bombardment of his city delivering the truth about this invasion to the world.
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 received “hundreds of rejections” and 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. As well as writing fiction for adults and children, he has become 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, followed by the novel The Bickford Fuse (MacLehose Press, 2016). He lives in Kyiv with his British wife and their three children.
"Kurkov’s narrative moves are that of a grandmaster. . .The real story here. . . [is] with Kurkov’s own feelings towards how the war he observes is transforming the people and places he knows so well. . . It takes a true strategist who can think several moves out to see beyond the present bloodshed to acknowledge, as Kurkov does, that 'for many people, history has long ceased to be a science and has become part of literature.'"—Joe Stanek, Chicago Review of Books
"Probably the first important literary work to emerge from a conflict that appears likely to alter the course of world history, Diary of an Invasion is a thoughtful and humane memoir by one of Ukraine’s most prominent living authors." —Simon Caterson, The Sydney Morning Herald