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Oksana Zabuzhko

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Nationality  Ukrainian
Nominations  BBC Book of the Year
Role  Poet
Name  Oksana Zabuzhko
Genre  Ukrainian literature

Oksana Zabuzhko wwwpoetryinternationalwebnetpimediaresized70

Born  19 September 1960 (age 55) Lutsk, Ukrainian SSR (1960-09-19)
Occupation  novelist, poet, essayist
Notable works  Field Work In Ukrainian Sex (1996)
Education  Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Books  The Museum of Abandoned Secrets
Similar People  Iren Rozdobudko, Lesya Ukrainka, Andrii Kokotiukha, Larisa Denisenko, Maryana Savka

Carta desde la casa de verano oksana zabuzhko ucrania

Oksana Stefanivna Zabuzhko (Ukrainian: Окса́на Стефа́нівна Забу́жко) is a leading Ukrainian novelist, poet, essayist, and public intellectual. Her works has been translated into multiple languages.


Oksana Zabuzhko oksanazabuzhkogif

Yana bilyk i love you words by oksana zabuzhko


Born 19 September 1960 in Lutsk, Ukraine, Zabuzhko studied philosophy at the Kiev University, where she also obtained her doctorate in aesthetics in 1987. In 1992 she taught at Penn State University as a visiting writer. Zabuzhko won a Fulbright scholarship in 1994 and taught Ukrainian literature at Harvard and University of Pittsburgh. Currently Zabuzhko works at the Hryhori Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Literary work

According to Uilleam Blacker, Oksana Zabuzhko’s work «has two main preoccupations […]: national identity and gender». Zabuzhko’s first novel, Field Work in Ukrainian Sex, published in 1996, was met with great controversy both by the critics and by the readers. With its publication, the Ukrainian readership and the intellectual community faced innovative, provocative and complex feminist writing.

As a trained philosopher and cultural critic, Zabuzhko publishes essays and non-fiction works. Zabuzhko also turns to the Ukrainian history. Her most recent novel, The Museum of Abandoned Secrets (2009), deals with three different epochs (World War II, 1970s, and early 2000s), and, in particular, the topic of Ukrainian Insurgent Army, active in Ukraine in the 1940s and 1950s, and either demonized or silenced by the Soviet historiography.

Oksana Zabuzhko belongs to the generation that Tamara Hundorova, a literary scholar, calls «post-Chornobyl». Chornobyl catastrophe (1986), according to Hundorova, is not only one of the biggest calamities of the modern times, but also a «symbolic event that projects post-apocalyptical text […] into the post-atomic era». Most importantly, Chornobyl also marks, de facto, the end of the Soviet Union, at least the end of any legitimacy of its ideology, and the beginning of the new Ukrainian society and new Ukrainian literature, free from socialist realism or consciously dismantling its legacy. One important feature of Oksana Zabuzhko’s writing is that it is «turned outward» to the world, to be accessible to the Western reader.


  • Angelus (2013)
  • Antonovych prize (2009)
  • Major works and style

    Oksana Zabuzhko’s first novel, Field Work in Ukrainian Sex, is one of the key texts in post-Soviet Ukrainian literature. It caused great controversy upon its publication, due the fact that the narrator expresses dissatisfaction with the established order of relationships between sexes, where a woman is subject to oppression, social and sexual, both by the traditional patriarchy, as a gendered subject, as well as a subject of totalitarianism. The novel was analyzed from the point of view of postcolonial theory. It also inspired a number of comparative studies, where Zabuzhko’s novel was compared to the writings of Jamaica Kincaid, Assia Djebar, Angela Carter, Nicole Brossard, and others. The novel was also studied on account of its prominent style, with the «poetic» voice and the «intellectual» voice intermingling and creating an intricate structure. The novel engages some elements of écriture féminine, notably, writing (from) the body.

    Oksana Zabuzhko’s second novel, Museum of Abandoned Secrets, deals with Ukraine’s resistance and opposition to the Soviet colonial regime in the 20th century. The novel presents the reality of the relations between the countries that within the structure of the USSR were seen by the West only in the context of the myth of the «friendships of nations», the myth that Putin’s Russia would still like to perpetuate.

    Oksana Zabuzhko’s most famous non-fiction book is Notre Dame d’Ukraine. It focuses on the Ukrainian writer of the fin-de-siècle era, Lesya Ukrayinka (1871-1913), but is also a study of the Ukrainian intelligentsia of that time and their cultural values. More specifically, in this groundbreaking volume Zabuzhko shows Ukraine’s European legacy in regard to the tradition of chivalry and the ways in which it shaped the Ukrainian literature and mentality.

    Her book Let My People Go won the Korrespondent magazine Best Ukrainian documentary book award in June 2006, The Museum of Abandoned Secrets — Best Ukrainian Book — 2010.


  • May Frost (1985) Травневий іній
  • The Conductor of the Last Candle (1990) Диригент останньої свічки
  • Hitchhiking (1994) Автостоп
  • Second Attempt (2005) Друга спроба
  • Prose

  • Field Work in Ukrainian Sex (1996) Польові дослідження з українського сексу
  • Sister, Sister (2003) Сестро, сестро
  • The Museum of Abandoned Secrets (2009) Музей покинутих секретів
  • Non-fiction

  • Notre Dame d'Ukraine: Ukrayinka in the Conflict of Mythologies (2007) Notre Dame d’Ukraine: Українка в конфлікті міфологій
  • Let my People Go: 15 Texts About Ukrainian Revolution (2005) Let my people go. 15 текстів про українську революцію
  • The Fortinbras Chronicles (1999) Хроніки від Фортінбраса
  • Philosophy of the Ukrainian Idea and the European Context: Franko Period (1992) Філософія української ідеї та європейський контекст: Франківський період
  • Ukrainian Palimpsest. Conversations of Oksana Zabuzhko and Iza Chruslinska. ""Ukraiński palimpsest". Rozmowy Oksany Zabużko z Izą Chruślińską" 2013.
  • Zabuzhko's texts translated in English

  • O. Zabuzhko Girls, translated by Askold Melnyczuk.
  • O. Zabuzhko I, Milena in: The Third Shore: Women's Fiction from East Central Europe (Writings from an Unbound Europe) (Paperback) by Agata Schwartz, Luise von Flotow. Also found in: Two Lands, New Visions: Stories from Canada and Ukraine by Janice Kulyk Keefer (Editor), Solomea Pavlychko (Editor).
  • O. Zabuzhko Field Work In Ukrainian Sex, translated by Halyna Hryn. Las Vegas: AmazonCrossing, 2011
  • A Kingdom of Fallen Statues. Poems and Essays by Oksana Zabuzhko Transl. by Marco Carynnyk, Askold Melnyczuk, Michael M.Naydan, Wanda Phipps, Lisa Sapinkopf, Douglas Burnet Smith, and Virlana Tkacz. Toronto: Wellspring Ltd., 1996
  • O. Zabuzhko The Museum of Abandoned Secrets, translated by Nina Shevchuk-Murray. Las Vegas: AmazonCrossing 2012
  • References

    Oksana Zabuzhko Wikipedia