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Georgia says: I’m recommending this book for anyone interested in the background of Ukraine’s path to becoming an independent country – – independent of either Poland or Russia. Yes, this is a novel, but the author goes to great lengths to convey the history of Viacheslav Lypynskyi, who was an ardent activist in promoting the independence of Ukraine (unsuccessfully) very early in the 20th century, even though he, himself, was an ethnic Pole. His story alternates with the story of a young, 21st Century, Ukrainian woman who discovers that her path through life in many ways – – because they were both troubled people – – parallels the life of Lypynskyi. An interesting read, not so much because of flowing prose, but because of the history it brings to the fore in a time when Ukraine is so much in the news.

An award-winning novel from one of Ukraine's most prolific contemporary authors, Forgottenness tells a spellbinding story of belonging and uprootedness, as understood by two exiles across time. An exceedingly anxious narrator grapples with a host of conditions, from obsessive-compulsive disorder to a creeping sense of agoraphobia. As her symptoms deepen, she finds unexpected solace researching Viacheslav Lypynskyi (1882-1931), a social and political activist of Polish descent who played a pivotal role in the struggle for Ukrainian independence--and who nursed his own comorbidities. In this long-deceased ideologue the narrator finally finds companionship, mining her country's history in pursuit of a better grasp over her own. Brilliantly translated by Zenia Tompkins, Forgottenness movingly illuminates the intricacies of the Ukrainian experience and announces Tanja Maljartschuk as an essential voice in contemporary world literature.
Publication Date: 
January 23, 2024
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