Yuri Andrukhovych was born on 13 March 1960 in IvanoFrankivsk, Ukraine. In 1982, he graduated from the Department of Editing at the Ukrainian Institute of Printing, where he studied journalism. He began to publish his poetry in literary journals in 1982. In 1985, together with Viktor Neborak and Oleksandr Irvaniets, Y. A. founded the popular literary performance group BuBaBu (BurlesqueBlusterBuffonery). This group was a seminal part of Ukrainian literary culture in the 1980 s, and its members continue to be active as writers.
Andrukhovych’s first book of poetry Sky and Squares appeared in 1985. Military service in 1983 1984 inspired him to write a series of seven army stories, which were published in 1989. The life of a soldier in the Red Army was also the subject of his screenplay A Military March for an Angel (1989), which was used for A. Donchyk` s film Oxygen Starvation (1991).
From 1989 until 1991, Yuri Andrukhovych studied at the Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, where he was enrolled in Advanced Literary Courses. At the same time, he published two other books of poetry: Downtown (1989) and Exotic Birds and Plants (1991, new edition 1997).
Andrukhovych’s prose works, the novels Recreations (1992, new edition 1997), Moscoviada (1993, new edition 1997) and Perversion (1996, new editions 1997, 1999), had a great impact on readers in the Ukraine and abroad. Andrukhovych has participated in several international festivals and meetings for writers, for example: the Lahti Writer’s Reunion, Finland, 1997, and the Toronto Harbourfront Reading, Canada, 1998.
In November 1998, he was invited by American universities, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, The Pennsylvania State University and La Salle University, to give literary readings.
Yuri Andrukhovych’s literary works have received several awards: Blahovist (1993), the award of the Helen ShcherbanLapika Foundation (1996), the Novel of the Year Prize from the prominent literary journal Suchasnist (1997), and the Lesia & Petro Kovalev Award (1998). His works have been translated and published in Poland, Canada, USA, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Russia and Finland.
Selected Publications: Nebo i ploshchi [ Sky and Squares ]. Poems (Kyiv: Molod, 1985). Seredmistia [ Downtown ]. Poems (Kyiv: Rad. Pysmennyk, 1989). Zliva, de sertse [ On the Left, Where the Heart Is ]. Stories (Prapor, 1989, no. 7). Ekzotychni ptakhy i roslyny [ Exotic Birds and Plants ]. Poems (Kyiv: Molod, 1991). Samijlo z Nemyrova, prekrasnyj rozbyshaka [ Samijlo from Nemyrova, the Excellent Bandit ]. Stories (Pereval, 1991, no. 1). Rekreatsiii [ Recreations ]. Novel (Suchasnist, 1992, no. 1). Moskoviada [ Moscoviada ]. Novel (Suchasnist, 1993, no. 12). Vstup do heohrafiii [ Introduction to Geography ]. Essay (Pereval, 1993, no. 1). Lysty v Ukraiinu [ Letters to Ukraine ]. Poems (Chetver, 1993, no. 4). Koxannia i smert po lytsarsky: vyzvolennia panny [ Heroic Love and Death: The Freeing of a Maiden ]. Essay (Suchasnist, 1994, no. 5). Ave Krajsler! Pojasnennia ochevydnoho [ Behold, Chrysler! Explanation of the Evident ]. (Suchasnist, 1994, no. 5). Indija [ India ]. Poems (Suchasnist, 1994, no. 5). Vybrani kavalky. BUBABU. T. v. o. (…) ry [ Selected fragments. BuBaBu. W. o. r. (…) ks ]. (Lviv: Kameniar, 1995). Selection of poems in the anthology Desiat ukraiinskykh poetiv [ Ten Ukrainian Poets ]. (Kyiv: Rokkar, 1996). Perverzia [ Perversion ]. Novel (Suchasnist, 1996, no. 1 2). ErtsHertsPerts. Essay (Chetver, 1996, no. 7). Rekreatsiii [ Recreations ]. Novel (Kyiv: Vydavnytstvo Chas, 1997). Perverzia [ Perversion ]. Novel (IvanoFrankivsk: LileiaNV, 1997). Ekzotychni ptakhy i roslyny [ Exotic Birds and Animals ]. Poems (IvanoFrankivsk: LileiaNV, 1997). Links wo das Hertz Schlaegt, Letzter Besuch in Tschornobyl: Ukrainische Erzaehler der Gegenwart. German translations by Anna Halia Horbatsch. (Kranichfeld and Marburg, 1994). Recreations. Tran. Marko Pavlyshyn. (TorontoEdmonton: CIUS Press, 1998). Reich mir die steinerne Laute: ukrainische Lyrik des 20. Jahrhunderts. Ausgew. von Jurij Andruchowytsch. Aus dem Ukrain. von AnnaHalja Horbatsch. [ Anthology of Ukrainian poetry edited by Andrukhovych, translated by Anna Halia Horbatsch. ] (Reichelsheim: BrodinaVerl., 1996). Observation Duty, Tran. Christine Sochocky and George Packer. From Three Worlds: New Writing From Ukraine, Ed. Ed Hogan (Boston: Zephyr Press, 1996). Spurensuche im Juli. Tran. AnnaHalja Horbatsch. (Reichelsheim: Brodina Verlag, 1995). Det okänka Ukraina: Ukrainska dikter. Tran. Sigvard Lindqvist. (Wettern, 1995). StanislauEuropa erlesen. Galizien. Ed. Stefan Simonek & Alois Woldan. (Klagenfurt: Wieser Verlag, 1998). The Testament of Antonio Del Campo: A Chapter from the Novel Perversion Tran. Michael M. Naydan (AGNI, 1998, no. 48). CityCaravel: An Essay. Tran. Roman Chaika & Peter Lopata (Cultural Encounters in East Central Europe. Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, 1998). Library: A Poem. Tran. Virlana Tkacz & Wanda Phipps (Visions International, 1999, no. 60). Rekreáció: Regény. [ Recreations ] Tran. Körner Gábor. (József Attila Kör, Budapest, 1999).
Published in the Polish Translation: Rekreacje [ Recreations ]. Tran. Ola Hnatiuk (Warsaw: wiat literacki, 1994). Erzherzperc [ ErtsHertsPerts ]. Essay. Tran. Ola Hnatiuk and Przemyslaw Tomanek. (WarsawIzabelin: Tyrsa and wiat literacki, 1996). Moscoviada: Powieść grozy. [ Moscoviada: A Horror Story]. Tran. Przemysław Tomanek (Wołowiec: Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2000). Moja Europa. Dwa eseje o Europie zwanej rodkową [ My Europe: Two Essays on Socalled Central Europe ]. Essays written together with Andrzej Stasiuk (Wołowiec: Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2000, 2001).
…Andrukhovych is a master of including the reader into his tale. A each character stumbles into increasingly surreal surroundings, the reader is transported into the scenes with them. Nemyrych and Shtundera, each in his own way, discovers a part of the past in this little village of Chortopil. It is a past that is dark, even frightening. Martofliak grapples with alcoholism and Khoma with personal loyalty.
Unlike many authors who don’ t seem to know how to write a good ending, Andrukhovych builds the tension in crafty increments, sustaining the readers’ interest right to the end and then wallops you with a crescendo that frankly caught me completely off guard. Andrukhovych leaves you wanting more, which is just as it should be. Let’s hope his other novels, Moscoviada: A Horror Story (1993) and Perversions (1996) are translated into English as soon as possible [Recreations: A Review by Yuriy Diakunchak Zdorov! Fall 1998]
If you re looking for international writing free of the obvious touchstones of contemporary Western lit, Eastern Europe is a good place to start. This year’s modest IFOA crop includes Russian expatriate Andrei Makine and Ukrainian postmodernist Yuri Andrukhovych. Makine (who lives in Paris and now writes in French) was the first writer to win both of France’s major literary awards the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medici for the same book, a lyrical (and politically frank) autobiographical novel entitled Dreams of My Russian Summers (since then translated into 25 languages).
Ukrainian poet Andrukhovych’s controversial atirical novel, Recreations, bears the scars of the Ukrainian cultural revival that accompanied that country’s independence referendum in the late 80s. Lively and experimental, the novel plays no favorites in lampooning Ukrainian history, its misguided recent surge of nationalism and the author’s own literary pretensions [ Kevin Connolly, www. eye. net, 09. 24. 98 ]