Yurii Andrukhovych / Ukraine

Yurii Ihorovych Andrukhovych is a Ukrainian prose writer, poet, essayist, and translator.

Andrukhovych was born March 13, 1960 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. In 1985 he co-founded the Bu-Ba-Bu poetic group, which stands for бурлеск, балаган, буфонада–‚burlesque, side-show, buffoonery‘ together with Oleksandr Irvanets and Viktor Neborak. Yuri Andrukhovych is the father of Sofia Andrukhovych, who has also become a writer.

Andrukhovych writes in Ukrainian and is known for his pro-Ukrainian and pro-European views, however, he is rarely considered a Ukrainian nationalist, a charge he fiercely denies himself. In his interviews, he said that he respected both the Ukrainian and Russian languages and claims that his opponents do not understand that the very survival of the Ukrainian language is threatened. During the 2004 presidential elections in Ukraine he signed, together with eleven other writers, an open letter in which he called Sovietic Russian culture: „language of pop music and criminal slang“. for the bilingual Zerkalo Nedeli he translates his essays from Ukrainian into Russian himself, every issue of which is published in both languages.

Andrukhovych has published five novels, four poetry collections, a cycle of short stories, and two volumes of essays, as well as literary translations from English, German, Polish, and Russian. His essays regularly appear in Dzerkalo tyzhnia (Mirror Weekly), an influential trilingual newspaper published in Russian and Ukrainian with excerpts published in an online English edition. Some of his writings, for example, The Moscoviad and Perverzion were carried out in a distinct postmodern style.

For his literary writings and activity as a public intellectual, Andrukhovych has been awarded numerous national and international prizes, including the Herder Prize (2001), the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize (2005), the Leipzig Book Fair Prize for European Understanding (2006), the Angelus Award (2006), the Hannah Arendt Prize (2014), and the Goethe Medal (2016).

He is a member of the editorial board of Ukrainian periodicals Krytyka and Potyah 76. He is also a juror for the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award.

Photo by Yana Stefanyshyn