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Contemporary Ukrainian Literature

Contemporary Ukrainian Literature

Top writers whose books you should read!

Literature helps us to understand critical and often unobserved nuances of everyday life by exposing the truths of reality. When it comes to Ukrainian literature, we all know the eternal classics: Taras Shevchenko, Lesya Ukrainka, and Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky. But can you name any writers of modern-day Ukrainian literature? And, how many of their works can you name? Whatever your answer may be, discovering some contemporary Ukrainian authors is definitely worth your time. Today, we’re presenting the top 5 domestic contemporary writers you need to check out!


  1. Lyubko Deresh

Lyubko Deresh is often called a “phenomenon of Ukrainian literature” – and this is not without reason. This talented author wrote his first book at the age of 15. His unique work has a strong effect on readers, making them reflect, become more conscious of their life, and realise their place in the world. The main characters of Deresh’s works are typically teenagers, and his stories often recount their fascinating, unpredictable, sometimes unusual lives. He always tries to convey modern life truthfully, and he does this through his vernacular style of writing, using a lot of contemporary slang and sometimes abusive words. 

Recommended works: “Peacemaker”, “Songs of Love and Eternity”, and “Devastation”.


  1. Serhiy Zhadan

Zhadan’s literature works have been translated into many languages, some of which have already received national and international awards. Serhiy Zhadan often chooses Ukraine’s post-Soviet reality as the theme for his works, depicting the everyday life of his fellow citizens. His language is often ‘seasoned’ with sharp words, which gives readers a very vivid picture of his compelling stories. 

Recommended works: “Anarchy in the UKR” and “Mesopotamia”.


  1. Oksana Zabuzhko

Oksana Zabuzhko is a Ukrainian poet, writer, literary critic, and publicist. In 1996, her novel “Field Studies in Ukrainian Sex” was published, and since then she has remained one of the most prominent Ukrainian-language writers. Her poems have even been translated into sixteen languages! In her work, Zabuzhko seeks to reflect on and redesign the Ukrainian identity. She raises points around gender issues and aims to change gender stereotypes and paradigms. Overall, she is a living classic.

Recommended works: “Field Research of Ukrainian Sex”, “Here Could Be Your Advertising”, and “Let My People Go”.


  1. Luko Dashvar

Behind the alias of ‘Luko Dashvar’ hides former journalist Iryna Chernova. Her literary career began after her novel The Village is Not People (Село не люди) received an award at the Coronation of the Word, and today Dashvar is perhaps the most famous modern Ukrainian writer. Dashvar’s novels are very popular and receive massive amounts of attention and buzz. 

Recommended works: “Milk with Blood”, “The Smell of Meat”, and “Have Everything”.


  1. Yuri Andrukhovych

Andrukhovych’s work is possibly the best example of postmodernism in Ukrainian literature, and his work has significantly influenced the field. Throughout his novels he uses intertextuality, creating relationships between his different texts, and he also introduced carnival prose into Ukrainian literature. Andrukhovych’s artistic and poetic works have been translated into eleven languages – including the international auxiliary language Esperanto.Recommended works: “Reincarnation”, “Lexicon of Intimate Cities”, and “Muscoviada”


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