Volodymyr Rafeyenko

Documenting Ukraine Grants

Birds of Last Summer, a Novel (Птахи останнього літа)

The novel I am writing is based primarily on my experience of life in recent years and for the most part on my experience of staying (living) in the Ukrainian territories that are occupied by Russian troops. I am twice a refugee and I needed to flee from the Russian occupiers twice in the last eight years. The first time was in 2014, when they occupied my hometown of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, and the second time was in March this year, when volunteers took me and my family out of the occupied territories. In recent years, my family and I have lived between Bucha and Borodyanka near Kyiv, and I saw quite a lot in the month I lived there since the start of the war. The novel will be built as a symphony of different layers of consciousness, different voices, and different aspects of the life experience of the protagonist, who comes out of darkness into the light. The text will be full of real stories of real people, which will be presented, reflected and perceived through cultural, literary and philosophical allusions.

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