Ukrainian writers made an essential contribution to the development of the Ukrainian literature and culture. Despite all the obstacles, limits and prohibitions they managed to protect and to enrich their native Ukrainian language. Here we`d like to present the most popular Ukrainian writers.
Hryhoriy Kvitka-Osnovyanenko (1778 – 1843)
Hryhoriy Kvitka-Osnovyanenko was an outstanding Ukrainian writer of the nineteenth century. Among the other Ukrainian authors he was the first who founded a new trend in Ukrainian literature – social comedy genre. “A Soldier`s Portrait”, “Shelmenko the Batman”, “Matchmaking in Honcharivka” are worth reading for their interesting satirical plots. The novel “Marusya” is a bright example of the classicist prose of that period.
A characteristic feature of all his works is the numerous remakes from dramas into prose and vice versa. Hryhoriy Kvitka-Osnovyanenko left behind a valuable and diverse literary legacy.
Ivan Franko (1856 – 1916)
Ivan Franko is undoubtedly one of the most prominent figures in Ukrainian literary world. A talented writer, dramatist, journalist and scholar, Franko had a colossal influence on the Ukrainian culture and life. He wrote more than 100 works of prose, such as “Zakhar Berkut”, “Pillars of Society”, “The Crossroads” and others. In his outstanding novels “Boryslav is Laughing” and “Boa Constrictor” Franco reflected the severe working conditions of Ukrainian peasants and their unconquerable souls.
Ivan Franco devoted all his life and literary career to the struggle for independent inseparable Ukraine. In his prose works he acted as a realist concerning the problems of Galician life.
Lesya Ukrainka (1871 – 1913)
Lesya Ukrainka (Larysa Petrivna Kosach-Kvitka) was a well-known writer and poet in Ukraine. Her prose took the special place in her cultural heritage. Her first novels “Holy Evening” and “Spring Songs” described the Ukrainian countryside life and were connected by the plot and language with folk songs. Lesya Ukrainka is also known as an author of fairy-tales such as “Three Pearls”, “Leliya”, “Butterfly” etc.
The main theme of her works was the national liberation struggle in Ukraine. Today Lesya Ukrainka is considered as the national symbol of Ukraine.
Oles Honchar (1918 – 1995)
Oles Honchar was one of the most famous Ukrainian authors of the twentieth century. He began his literary career as a journalist working in soviet newspapers. In 1939 he created his novels “Ivan Mostovyj”, «Cherries Bloom» and «Eaglet. In 1941 Honchar participated in the the World War II. In that grievous period he started writing his famed military novel «Guide-on Bearers», for which Oles was awarded afterwards.
Honchar`s novel “Cathedral” was his real masterpiece and was translated into many languages. Oles Honchar always criticized careerism, bureaucracy and people`s spiritual impoverishment, that`s why some of his works were prohibited by the soviet authorities.
Lina Kostenko (1930)
Lina Kostenko takes the first place in the rating of modern Ukrainian writers. She is well-known not only in Ukraine, but also in many other countries, and her works have been translated into different languages. Lina Kostenko devoted a great part of her life publishing poems, but after 20-year interval she published her novel “Notes of a Ukrainian madman”, which became bestseller during the first months.
This book covers the period of Kuchma`s presidency and the “Orange revolution” events. The author satirizes the modern society, with its problems and failures, imperfect political system and family relationships.
Yuri Andrukhovych (1960)
Yuri Andrukhovych is a famous modern Ukrainian writer, Vice President of the “Ukrainian Writers Association”. His famous novels “Recreations”, “Moskoviad” and “Perversion” have gained wide recognition among Ukrainians and abroad. Andrukhovych`s works are a glaring example of post-modernism.
Nowadays Yuri is called the Ukrainian literature classic. In his novels the reality is tightly intertwined with fiction, fantastic and illusion. His works leave the resistant feeling of modern world irrationality, spiced with acrid and gentle irony.
Andrii Kurkov (1961)
Andrii Kurkov is one of the most famous contemporary Ukrainian authors. He writes satirical novels, spiced with black humor and surrealistic elements, that easily become bestsellers. His most popular works are “Death and Penguin”, “The Milkman in the Night”, “The President`s Last Love” etc.
Andrii Kurkov is the only post-soviet writer whose books are in Top-10 European bestsellers. Although Andrii doesn`t write books in Ukrainian he continues to be a popular and demanded writer throughout Ukraine.
Serhiy Zhadan (1974)
Serhiy Zhadan is a popular Ukrainian author. Critics describe his special writing style and skillful wordplay as a “verbal jazz”. Although he uses in his novels contemporary youth slang and his heroes are often “bad guys”, Serhiy gives readers a new understanding of modernity, he shows the way he perceives reality.
His most popular novels are “Anarchy in the Ukr”, “Voroshilovgrad”, “Anthem of Democratic Youth”. In “Anarchy in the Ukr” author represents his own revolution story full of suicidal despair and solemn spirit of anarchy. The novel “Voroshilovgrad” was called the whole generation manifest.