Latest Review: Twelve Loops

The latest addition to our review section is a piece by Nina Shevchuk-Murray on Yuri Andrukhovych’s untranslated novel Twelve Loops.

Andrukhovych does have a couple of books out in English — Recreations (Canadian Institute of Ukranian Study Press) and Perverzion (Northwestern University Press). (I believe another title was scheduled to come out from Spuyten Duyvil Press, but I’ll be damned if I can find it on their website.) Born in the Ukraine in 1960, Andrukhovych is the author of numerous novels, short story collections, and books of poetry, most recently The Secret and Instead of a Novel, a novel made up of interviews. He’s also the co-founder of the Bu-Ba-Bu poetic group, which stands for “burlesque, side-show, buffoonery.” (In Ukrainian this makes more sense.)

Nina Shevchuk-Murray is a former editorial assistant at the University of Nebraska Press and a Ukrainian-born poet and translator whose work can be found in a number of literary magazines. She is the co-editor, with Ladette Randoloph, of The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers (U of Nebraska P, 2007).

Here’s the opening of her review:

In the socio-cultural milieu of his native Ukraine, Yuri Andrukhovych has achieved the kind of status that demands that his name be followed by “himself” every time it shows up in print. His previous novels Recreations and Moscoviad are two important reasons for this recognition, and Twelve Loops is yet another work that assert Andrukhovych’s authority—and talent—as Ukraine’s national mythmaker.

Twelve Loops features some familiar topography: readers will recall Chrotopil’, the setting of Recreations, and, of course, L’viv, the city at the center of Andrukhovych’s fictional universe. In Twelve Loops L’viv attracts two artists, the Austrian photographer Karl-Joseph Zumbrunnen and, sixty years earlier, the Lemko poet Bohdan-Igor Antonych, with lethal and inexplicable magnetism. You can find the rest here.

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