The Blue Whale of Memories
- BBC Ukrainian Book of the Year Award 2016
- Translated from the Ukrainian (original title: “Zabuttya”)
- Complete English translation available
A profound novel of belonging and uprootedness, as understood by two exiles across time
Winner of the BBC Ukrainian Book of the Year Award, The Blue Whale of Memory movingly—and unflinchingly—illuminates the intricacies of the Ukrainian experience in the twenty-first century.
In 2016, an exceedingly anxious narrator grapples with a host of conditions, from obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcoholism to a creeping sense of agoraphobia. As her symptoms deepen, she finds unexpected solace and companionship in researching the historical figure of Vyacheslav Lypynsky (1882-1931), a social and political activist of Polish descent who played a pivotal role in the struggle for Ukrainian independence — and just so happened to struggle with hypochondria. Through a series of mesmerizing digressions, the narrator’s own family saga is told in parallel with Lypynsky’s, culminating in “an impressively sincere self-inquiry about identity” (Jury of the Usedom Literature Prize, led by Olga Tokarczuk). Shot through with wry humor, this urgent work announces Tanja Maljartshuk as a major voice in world literature.