It’s a story about the anti-aircraft gunner who has just shot down a Russian fighter jet, father and sons fighting side by side, and a member of Wagner who cherishes Nabokov. It’s a journey to places where dogs feast on the dead, where you are petrified by fear and desolation but also stunned with courage, resilience and even love. There, you see everything with a clarity as sharp as that from new spectacles. This vividness begs a question of whether there is room for nuance. Or is the pursuit of nuance merely the privilege of those who don’t fight for their very life and existence here and now? But also whether the survivors are obliged to pursue this nuance?
In his stories, the author opts for the fixation method, «photographing» with the text. The word «fixation» will be used in different meanings throughout the text.
Myroslav Laiuk was born on 31 July 1990 in the Carpathians and now resides in Kyiv, Ukraine. He holds a PhD in philosophy and literature, and is a lecturer at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. As a war documentarian, he works on a frontline and in de-occupied territories. His texts and essays from Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia regions have been published in Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian, Czech and US media such as Gazeta Wyborcza, Eurozine, LitHub, Reporters, and Los Angeles Review of Books. His poems and prose in English translations have appeared in The Dial, The New Statesman, Agenda, Common Knowledge, and Poetry International. Myroslav is the author of three novels and three poetry books, with his works translated and published in Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Belarus. In 2018, the KyivPost media recognised Laiuk in its «Top 30 Under 30» ranking as one of the most innovative young Ukrainians.
«Blending a poet’s skill with committed war reporting, Myroslav Laiuk illuminates the details, images, personalities of war the way only a poet can. He re-discovers Ukraine for the reader, making the neglected loved.»
Peter Pomerantsev, British journalist and writer, author of the books «Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible» and «This is not Propaganda»
«Each participant in the war forges their own path. Frequently, these paths are off-road, marred by potholes and rough asphalt. Myroslav has succeeded in gathering and conveying the profound anguish embedded in the stories of each of his characters. It is through books like this that entire generations will come to understand the monumental struggles of the Ukrainian armed forces.»
Evgeniy Maloletka, Associated Press photojournalist, Pulitzer Prize winner