Longing for the novel
In Ukraine, the demand for engagement with the immediate past has produced a series of novels that are better described as autobiographies. One such is Yuri Andrukhovych’s The Secret, which, in going to places out of bounds to the conventional autobiography, avoids the kitsch typical of the form. Another example is Irena Karpa’s Freud Would Weep, part travelogue, part novel. The rising star of Ukrainian literature reinvigorates the Ukrainian language, impoverished during the Soviet period, in brilliant ways. But, asks Timofiy Havryliv, is the autobiography equal to the task of representing recent historical experience?