Hay Festival Book of the Month – October 2022

In Isolation

In this collection of dispatches, Stanislav Aseyev attempts to understand the reasons behind the success of Russian propaganda among the residents of the industrial region of Donbas. For the first time, an inside account is presented here of the toll on real human lives and civic freedoms that the citizens of Europe’s largest country continue to suffer in Russia's hybrid war on its territory.

Aseyev focuses on the early period of the Russian-sponsored military aggression in Ukraine’s east, the period of 2015–2017. The author's testimony ends with his arrest for publishing his dispatches and his subsequent imprisonment and torture in a modern-day concentration camp on the outskirts of Donetsk run by lawless mercenaries and local militants with the tacit approval and support of Moscow.
We share this as our book of the month for October and in the upcoming Lviv BookForum programme, streaming free online 6-9 October.

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

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Further reading

Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman among authors signed up for Ukrainian book festival https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/sep/13/margaret-atwood-and-neil-gaiman-among-authors-signed-up-for-ukrainian-book-festival

Violence and Hope in Ukraine: Stanislav Aseyev’s “The Torture Camp on Paradise Street” https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/violence-and-hope-in-ukraine-stanislav-aseyevs-the-torture-camp-on-paradise-street/
A Glimpse at Life Under Russian Occupation https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/05/11/ukraine-russia-war-occupation-donbas-stanislav-aseyev-prisoner-book-in-isolation/

About the authors

Stanislav Aseyev is a Donetsk-born Ukrainian writer and journalist. In addition to two books recounting his experience under Russian occupation in eastern Ukraine, he is the author of a collection of poetry, a play, and a novel. Under the pen name Stanislav Vasin, he published short reports in the Ukrainian press on the outbreak of Russian-sponsored military hostilities in Donbas. Arrested and unlawfully imprisoned by separatist militia forces for “extremism” and “spying,” Aseyev was held captive and subjected to intermittent torture. In 2021, he was awarded the prestigious Taras Shevchenko National Prize for In Isolation.

Lidia Wolanskyj is a writer and translator. Her translated works include Survival as Victory by Oksana His and Ukraine's Nuclear Disarmament by Yuri Kostenko.

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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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