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.
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Victoria Belim in conversation about her memoir, The Bookseller
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.
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.
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