Ukrainian Women Writers and the National Imaginary: From the Collapse of the USSR to the Euromaidan
Published: November 2019© 2020
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 216 Pages
Dimensions: 6.25 x 9.25
216 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.75 in
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian literary world has not only experienced a true blossoming of women’s prose, but has also witnessed a number of female authors assume the roles of literary trendsetters and authoritative critics of their culture. In this first in-depth study of how Ukrainian women’s prose writing was able to re-emerge so powerfully after being marginalized in the Soviet era, Oleksandra Wallo examines the writings and literary careers of leading contemporary Ukrainian women authors, such as Oksana Zabuzhko, Ievheniia Kononenko, and Maria Matios. Her study shows how these women reshaped literary culture with their contributions to the development of the Ukrainian national imaginary in the wake of the Soviet state’s disintegration.
The interjection of women’s voices and perspectives into the narratives about the nation has often permitted these writers to highlight the diversity of the national picture and the complexity of the national story. Utilizing insights from postcolonial and nationalism studies, Wallo’s book theorizes the interdependence between the national imaginary and narrative plots, and scrutinizes how prominent Ukrainian women authors experimented with literary form in order to rewrite the story of women and nationhood.
Introduction: Women, Literature, and the National Imaginary in (Post)colonial Ukraine
1. On the Invisibility of Ukrainian Women’s Writing in the Soviet Empire
2. How Can a Ukrainian Woman Write?
3. Voicing the Self: The First Ukrainian Bestseller by a Woman Writer
4. Rewriting the Nation: National Narratives by Maria Matios and Ievheniia Kononenko
5. Excavating the (Gendered) Nation: Oksana Zabuzhko’s Museum-Novel
6. New National Chronicles: Women (Writers) on the Euromaidan
"Ukrainian Women Writers offers a valuable contribution to the study of post-Soviet Ukrainian literature. However limited in scope (focusing only on the visimdesiatnyky), it presents exceptionally engaging readings of some of the most significant works produced at the turn of the twenty-first century."Maria G. Rewakowicz, Slavic Review, Vol. 80, No. 1
"The monograph is well contextualized and informative. It is rich in factual material and provides important historical and biographical explanations useful for those who are not familiar with Ukrainian history and literary tradition."Tetyana Dzyadevych, New College of Florida, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
"Insightful and innovative, Ukrainian Women Writers and the National Imaginary makes a major contribution to research in Ukrainian studies, particularly in its discussion of Ukrainian literary feminism and national identity."Michael Naydan, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Penn State University
"This is a wonderful, well-argued, and highly readable study that is important for our understanding of contemporary Ukraine. The prominence of women’s voices in present-day Ukrainian literature seems obvious, but this is the first book to explain it and analyze all the major works within the same analytical framework."Serhy Yekelchyk, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Victoria
- The Omeljan Pritsak Book Prize in Ukrainian Studies
awarded by Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies - (Commended)