my book: 1 post

The Rooster House : My Ukrainian Family Story

It’s a pleasure to share with you that my memoir, The Rooster House, will be published in English on June 27th, 2023 by Abrams Press. The book tells my family history across four generations as I search for traces of my great-uncle who disappeared during the 1930s, and explore Ukraine’s complex relationship with its Soviet past. It’s also a story about family ties that survive conflicts and turmoil.

As the publication date nears, I will share more details. In the meantime, here is a publisher’s summary.

In 2014, the landmarks of Victoria Belim’s personal geography were plunged into tumult at the hands of Russia. Her hometown Kyiv was gripped by protests and violent suppression. Crimea, where she’d once been sent to school to avoid radiation from the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, was invaded. Kharkiv, where her grandmother Valentina studied economics and fell in love; Donetsk, where her father once worked; and Mariupol, where she and her mother bought a cherry tree for Valentina’s garden all became battlegrounds.

A naturalized American citizen then living in Brussels, Belim felt she had to go back. She had to spend time with her aging grandmother and her cousin Dmytro. She had to unravel a family mystery spanning several generations. And she needed to understand how her country’s tragic history of communist revolution, civil war, famine, world war, totalitarianism, and fraught independence had changed the course of their lives.

The Rooster House is a beautifully written memoir of a family, a country’s past, and its dangerous present. It is about parents and children, true believers and victims, gardens and art, secrets and tragedy.

You can pre-order on Amazon or Bookshop.org.

Continue reading →

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