Spuyten Duyvil, 2016.
Paperback. 360 pp.
In the 1990s, Karl-Joseph Zumbrunnen, an Austrian photographer with Galician roots, travels repeatedly through Ukraine. The chaos of the transitional post-Soviet era seems infinitely more appealing than the boring life of the West-especially since falling in love with his interpreter Roma Voronych. He accompanies her on a hair-raising trip to the Carpathian mountains where we hear of happenings in the solitude of the mountains, as well as in the "Tavern On The Moon," which served briefly as an observatory and subsequent athletic training station where, in between commercial film production, starring strippers and bodyguards and various intellectuals, Bohdan-Ihor Antonych, the outlaw modernist Ukrainian poet of the 1930's is to be found in person. Andrukhovych relates all this madness absorbingly, with much wit and ironic joust. Lurkers here will come to understand that the postmodern folk novel from Ukraine they are reading is in fact about the West.
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