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Love in Defiance of Pain

Love in Defiance of Pain

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Edited by Ali Kinsella, Zenia Tompkins, and Ross Ufberg

A story collection featuring acclaimed, award-winning contemporary voices from Ukraine.

All proceeds from this collection are intended for humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

Publication date: September 13, 2022

Paperback: 9781646052578

eBook: 9781646052585



Love in Defiance of Pain: Ukrainian Stories aims to bring the riches of contemporary Ukrainian literature—and of contemporary Ukraine, too—to the world. While Ukraine is under sustained attack, many in the West have marveled at the nation’s strength in the face of a barbaric invasion. Who are these people, what is this nation, which has captivated the world with their courage? By showcasing some of the finest Ukrainian writers working today, this book aims to help answer that question.

There are war stories, but there are also love stories. Stories of aging romantics in modern Ukraine, and of modern Ukrainians in Vienna and Brooklyn, a fantastical tale set on a mysterious island where people never die, a wild lovers’ romp through modern-day Ukraine, a sobering account of  an American war photographer,  and a post-modern tale of a botanist in love. Some of these stories have been published before—indeed, many are award-winning and acclaimed—while some are appearing for the first time, making their rightful debut on the world stage. The range of voices, settings, and subjects in this vivid and varied collection show us how to “love in defiance of pain”—an apt phrase taken from the very first story in this book. Readers will be delighted and moved, and will gain insight into the proud history and contemporary life of Ukraine.

Proceeds from the sale of this collection will be donated to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Authors and Translators

Including stories by:

Sophia Andrukhovych

Yuri Andrukhovych

Stanislav Aseyev

Kateryna Babkina

Artem Chapeye

Kateryna Kalytko

Oksana Lutsyshyna

Vasyl Makhno

Tanja Maljartschuk

Taras Prokhasko

Oleg Sentsov

Natalka Sniadanko

Olena Stiazhkina

Sashko Ushkalov

Oksana Zabuzhko

Serhiy Zhadan

Contributing Translators: 

Mark Andryczyk, Uilleam Blacker, Vitaly Chernetsky, Jennifer Croft, Daisy Gibbons, Ali Kinsella, Hanna Leliv, Oksana Maksymchuk, Nina Murray, Max Rosochinsky, Iryna Shuvalova, Zenia Tompkins


“Love in Defiance of Pain: Ukrainian Stories handsomely showcases many of the best Ukrainian writers (in English translations) with stories that are not about the current war but nevertheless exhibit Ukrainians confronting universal themes of life and death, love and betrayal, war and peace." —Irene Zabytko, World Literature Today