This episode features Ukrainian- American poet and translator Boris Dralyuk – and on the second half of the show – Ukrainian author Andrei Kurkov.
Boris Dralyuk is an award- winning translator and the Editor-in-Chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He taught Russian literature for a number of years at UCLA and at the University of St Andrews. He is a co-editor (with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski) of the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, and has translated Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories, as well as Andrei Kurkov’s The Bickford Fuse and Grey Bees. In 2020 he received the inaugural Kukula Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Book Reviewing from the Washington Monthly.
Boris Dralyuk joins us from Los Angeles to talk about his debut poetry collection My Hollywood and other Poems (Paul Dry Books, 2022) and about his translation of Andrei Kurkov’s Grey Bees, a novel set in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, against the backdrop of a long-simmering conflict between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces.
Andrei Kurkov is a writer, journalist, and screenwriter. He is the first writer in post-Soviet countries, whose books have reached the top ten European bestsellers. Over 150 thousand copies of his most popular novel Death and the Penguin were sold in Ukraine. Kurkov’s books are translated into 37 languages. Kurkov is the president of PEN Ukraine. Andrei Kurkov is joining us from West Ukraine where he has found refugee away from his home in Kiev after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February. Grey Bees, is his latest novel translated into English by Boris Dralyuk published in the US with Deep Vellum and in the UK by Maclehose Press.
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