Book of the Month – June 2023

The Rooster House by Victoria Belim

In the Ukrainian city of Poltava stands a building known as the Rooster House, an elegant mansion with two voluptuous red roosters flanking the door. It doesn't look horrifying. And yet, when Victoria was a girl growing up in the 1980s, her great-grandmother would take pains to avoid walking past it...

Inspired by the author's love for her family, and peopled by warm, larger-than-life characters who jostle alongside the ghostly absences of others, The Rooster House is at once a riveting journey into the complex history of a wounded country and a profoundly moving tribute to hope and the refusal of despair.

"A paean to hope and home. I loved it and it will haunt me" - Helen Macdonald.

Read it? Let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #HBOTM.

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Further reading

Victoria Belim in conversation about her memoirThe Bookseller

About the authors

Victoria Belim is a writer, journalist, and translator of Persian literature and poetry. She has a column in The Financial Times and her writing on culture and lifestyle topics has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, Red Magazine, and Marie Claire. She speaks 20 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, and Indonesian.  Born in Ukraine, Victoria grew up in the USA and now lives in Brussels, Belgium. Her first book, The Rooster House, a Ukrainian family memoir, was published in May 2023 by Virago. 

About Hay Festival's Book of the Month

Hay Festival's Book of the Month is our monthly recommendation of a book we love and think holds particular resonance. This is our chance to celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry year-round.

Throughout the month, we'll share interesting links and articles relating to our selection on social media using #HBOTM and invite you all to get involved with your questions and comments.

If you'd like to recommend a book for consideration, please share on social media using #HBOTM.

Happy reading!