Booksellers united in solidarity with the Ukrainian people

  • 30/03/2022

Highlighting EIBF members' statements, appeals and actions supporting Ukraine  

Following the statement that EIBF released on 2 March condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we’ve launched a database collating all actions that our members, and the wider book community, have taken to support the Ukrainian people. 

     •     Booksellers in Italy were encouraged by the Italian Booksellers Association to decorate their bookshop display fronts in blue and yellow in a collective act of unity. The association is also collecting voluntary contributions for the victims of the war

    •    The German Publishers and Booksellers Association produced posters calling for peace and solidarity.

    •    The German Board of Trustees of the Peace Prize has issued an appeal, stating that Ukraine has a right to peace.

    •    The Finnish Booksellers Association condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine and, in cooperation with the Association of Specialty Trades and the Finnish Commerce Federation, is donating funds in support of Ukrainian children.

    •    The Norwegian Booksellers Association has condemned the attack, emphasizing the importance of bookshops in facilitating unrestricted access to information. Anne Schiøtz, the Association’s director, stated that Norwegian booksellers will keep selling Russian and Belarussian books, stressing the importance of the freedom of expression and the merits of Russian and Belarussian authors opposing the war. 

    •    The American Booksellers Association issued a statement condemning the Russian attack on Ukraine, pledging to amplify Ukrainian authors and books; offer support directly to Ukrainian booksellers; and promote organizations working to resist, inform, and offer aid.

    •    The Swedish media group Bonnier Books and its employees have donated over € 165 000 in support of Ukraine, with the employees’ contribution making up for more than one third of the total sum.

    •    The Polish Literacy Foundation is heading a campaign to supply books to Ukrainian refugee children in Poland. 

    •    The Ukrainian Book Institute, with the support from the Federation of European Publishers and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, has launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed to support the printing of Ukrainian children’s books. Find out more and donate here

    •    The European Writers' Council is collating recommendations from their member organisations, as well as from other European writers' and translators' associations. 

    •    The Slovak Publisher and Booksellers Association is helping to provide books for children and youth in Ukrainian language. The association is working with the Ukrainian bookshop "Stary Lev" from the city of Lviv.  After several attempts, they managed to import 6000 books so far, which were distributed to bookstores all over Slovakia, where refugees could come and pick up the books for free.

    •    Frankfurter Buchmesse and the organisations of the Börsenverein Group call for support for the Ukrainian book industry. Together with the Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association (UPBA), the organisations of the Börsenverein Group have launched a fundraising project for Ukrainian members of the publishing industry, such as publishers, authors and booksellers. Frankfurter Buchmesse (19-23 October 2022) offers the organisers of the Ukrainian national stand, the Ukrainian Book Institute, a free stand at this year's book fair. Ukrainian publishers and authors are invited to present their publications there. To further promote the international visibility of Ukrainian literature and culture, a collection of books by Ukrainian authors and illustrators published in German will travel around the world.

    •    The Ukrainian Institute joins cultural workers from across Europe to call on the European Council to symbolically award the title of the “European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022” to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The call to designate Kyiv as the “European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022” has now been handed over to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. More than 2 500 people from the fields of culture, science, and civic community in Europe signed the call that was launched on 28 February 2022. The call remains open for signing on

    •    In cooperation with Bibliothèques sans frontières, Cultura launches a “round-up programme”, with customers being given the option to round up their final bill at the cashier. The money will be used in support of the people of Ukraine, through creation of information and support hubs and a development of a distance learning programme for children.


Celebrating Ukrainian culture and literature

Ukrainian laureate of the European Union Prize for Literature for 2019 Haska Shyyan has compiled a list of books from contemporary Ukrainian authors that highlight and celebrate the Ukrainian culture and literature. Some of the books are available in translation. More information on featured titles is available next to the book. 


The Ukraine by Artem Chapaye

The Ukraine is a collection of twenty-six essays and stories that deliberately blurs the lines between nonfiction and fiction, leaving the reader wondering which of its pieces are true and which fictionalized. Consciously and facetiously playing with the English misuse of the article “the” in reference to Ukraine, Chapeye essentializes “the Ukraine,” which, for him, differs from “Ukraine” and captures a Ukraine as perceived from the outside, by foreigners.

Publisher: Книги ХХІ, 2018

Read the excerpt in English, published in the New Yorker magazine

Absolute Zero by Artem Chekh

The book is a first person account of a soldier’s journey, and is based on Artem Chekh’s diary that he wrote while and after his service in the war in Donbas.

Publisher: Vivat, 2017

Available in English, published by Glagoslav Publications 

Amadoka by Sofia Andrukhovych

Mutilated beyond recognition in one of the hotspots in eastern Ukraine, the hero of the novel "Amadoka" miraculously survived. This is a dubious consolation, because severe injuries have led to a complete loss of memory: a man does not remember his name or where he comes from, does not remember a single loved one, not a single fragment of his previous life. This is how a woman finds him, whose love and patience are able to work miracles: to reach the deepest layers of oblivion and memories, to unite the scattered pieces of mutilated consciousness, to sew together a common history.

Publisher: Stary Lev, 2020

Available in Croatian, published by Edicije Božičević

The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan

If every war needs its master chronicler, Ukraine has Serhiy Zhadan, one of Europe’s most promising novelists. Recalling the brutal landscape of The Road and the wartime storytelling of A Farewell to Arms, The Orphanage is a searing novel that excavates the human collateral damage wrought by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. When hostile soldiers invade a neighboring city, Pasha, a thirty-five-year-old Ukrainian language teacher, sets out for the orphanage where his nephew Sasha lives, now in occupied territory. Venturing into combat zones, traversing shifting borders, and forging uneasy alliances along the way, Pasha realizes where his true loyalties lie in an increasingly desperate fight to rescue Sasha and bring him home.

Publisher: Meridian Czernowitz, 2017

Available in English, published by Yale University Press

Ask Miyechka by Eugenia Kuznetsova

The story of “Ask Miyechka” features four generations of women captured during one summer. Two sisters, Mia and Lilia, come to their “shelter”, an old house of their grandmother where they have spent their childhood, in an attempt to put on hold their upcoming life-changing decisions: deciding on immigrating or staying, choosing between reliable man or wild love. Their grandmother, Thea, is nearing the end of her life and her daughter and the sisters’ mother are fearful to take the place of the oldest woman in the family.

Publisher: Stary Lev, 2021

The book is nominated for the European Union Prize for Literature 2022

Long days by Volodymyr Rafeenko

"Long days" is an urban ballad, a fairy tale for adults about life and death in times of war, where the phantasmagoric and unreal are interspersed with reality, the truth of our existence. The novel consists of two parts. The first is a spooky tale, where the occupiers disappear without a trace on the outskirts of Z in the three-story Fifth Rome bathhouse and the Ukrainian national anthem is played every morning, where Colorado beetles with dagger legs turn humanitarian aid into a slaughterhouse, where they end up in Kyiv, we must accept death. The second part is short stories written in a realistic manner and woven into the background of a fairy tale. Short stories about people who live and survive in Donetsk. Real destinies, real stories from which the heart shrinks.

Publisher: Stary Lev, 2017

Available in Polish, published by KEW

Eastern syndrome, Yulia Iliukha

They would never have met if it were not for the war in Donbass. The hot September of 2014 brought together the loser lawyer Vasya, IT specialist Max and Russian Tanya, who ran away from her sadistic husband. Everyone has their own story of painful losses, which pushed them into the dugout: Vasya flees to the ATO from quarrels with his wife, Max seeks revenge for the murdered bride, and Tanya dreams of starting a new life. Friendship, love, hate - the stages of one path that they will have to go. And none of them can imagine how this path will end. There are no battle scenes or bloody details in this book. This is not a story about heroes, but about ordinary people who returned from the war with their bodies without returning with their souls. 

Publisher: Клуб сімейного дозвілля, 2019

Klavka by Maryna Hrymych

Maryna Hrymych's novel Klavka takes place in the Writers' Union of Ukraine and in the Kyiv ROLIT Writers' House in 1947, when the infamous Plenum, known in history for the defeat of Ukrainian literature, including the slander of Yuri Yanovsky and Maksym Rylsky, took place. But few people know that the massacre of these two classics was not limited to: Ukrainian writers - colleagues in the pen, neighbors in the house - incited each other, using their ambitions.

Publisher: Nora Druk, 2019

Home for hum by Viktoriya Amelina 

A funny poodle named Dom tells the story of a family - an old colonel and several generations of women. Both the dog and the people feel awkward in a small Lviv apartment where he used to live ... What difference does it make who? The stones will not tell. Or they will tell - if you have a dog's sense. But are there any stories that will help - a colonel from the east of Ukraine or at least his dog - finally feel at home in Lviv in the 90s?

Publisher: Stary Lev, 2017

Good tidings from the Aral sea by Irena Karpa

"The novel was written for three years, absorbing real stories of real women. Because of this, there are no completely positive or completely negative heroines in it, but there are different psychotypes where every reader will find herself. Some will be mad, some will laugh, some will make you cry. Because the book has everything: fashion, sex, lifestyle, betrayal, escape, self-search, murder, intrigue, taste of wine and many, many Paris. Someone drives an Aston Martini, and someone steals coins left for the waiter for tea. At some point, the fates of these women of mine are intertwined, and yes - do not read the end at once, so as not to spoil who the killer is. I love them all. Each of them has a piece of me. And a slice of you. So feel free to dive in,” says Irena Karpa, a writer.

Publisher: #книголав, 2019

Sonya by Kateryna Babkina

"Sonya" - the debut novel of the brightest Ukrainian young poet - is a story about love, youth, borders, homosexuals, Jews, Germany, Poland, Albania, Montenegro, Thessaloniki, smuggling, prayer, eternal life, employment, pregnancy, search, Allah, miracles and four hundred thousand euros. 

Publisher: Folio, 2013

Available in Polish, published by Warsztaty Kultury w Lublinie

The death of Leo Cecil made sense by Olena Styazhkina

A novel about war and the fate of people accidentally reunited at the Donetsk maternity hospital in 1986. The magic of photography and borrowed names turns strangers into branches of the family tree - and they eventually become a family, the main one in which - a little girl. There are many transitions in the book - a dentist becomes a military surgeon, a goat becomes a sapper-dog, a cowardly Soviet official acquires the features of a guardian angel, a cosmetics saleswoman becomes a sniper shooting instructor ... In the Ukrainian Donbass. At the beginning of the XXI century. However, the time in the book is quite a conditional quantity.

Publisher: Stary Lev, 2021

Love life by Oksana Lutsyshyna

Oksana Lutsyshyna, a researcher of Bruno Schultz and Walter Benjamin, author of several books of poetry and collections of short prose, tells a poignant story of love and exile in her second novel. Yora meets Sebastian - and it is from this meeting that her other, real life begins. The key to the novel "Love Life" is, in particular, a deck of Tarot cards, but at the same time it is a realistic plot "emigrant" prose with a clear

Publisher: Stary Lev, 2015

Masha of post-Fascism by Yaroslav Melnyk 

The fourth millennium. The Voice of the Reich journalist suddenly falls in love with a female stor - one of the creatures who have a human body but is not considered human - and sets out to fight for the right of the stor to be called human. But will the hero and his associates be able to escape from the post-fascists? 

Publisher: Stary Lev, 2016

Available in French, published by Actes Sud Littérature

Ukraine in history and stories 

The book is a collection of texts by contemporary Ukrainian intellectuals: writers, historians, philosophers, political analysts, opinion leaders. The texts have been written for an international audience. The collection combines reflections on Ukraine's history (or histories, in plural), and analysis of the present, conceptual ideas and life stories. The book presents a multi-faceted image of Ukrainian memory and reality: from the Holodomor to Maidan, from Russian aggression to cultural diversity, from the depth of the past to the complexity of the present.

It contains 16 texts: essays and interviews. The authors of the collection are Serhii Plokhy, Andriy Kurkov, Ola Hnatiuk, Irena Karpa, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Yuri Andrukovych, Larysa Denysenko, Vakhtang Kebuladze, Andriy Portnov, Haska Shyyan, Hanna Shelest, Volodymyr Rafeenko, Volodymyr Yermolenko, Alim Aliev, Leonid Finberg, Andrij Bondar.

A selection of non-fiction books to help understand the history and culture of Ukraine, available for translation.

HalInBook, a bookshop based in Lviv, Ukraine, offers bookshops and libraries a book supply service.

List of Ukrainian book trade enterprises 

The Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association has shared a list of book trade companies, which can supply books in the Ukrainian language. 

YE / Є 
Olha Salata +380667464110 / 
Yakaboo / Якабу 
Maya Kichuk +380674684901 / 

Bukva / Буква 
Oleksandr Kutuzov +380986536399 / 

Knyholand / Книголенд 
Ihor Zarudko +380975999229 / 

Dim knyhy / Дім книги 
Oleh Domaretsky +380971809030 / 

NF / НФ 
Larysa Kot +380672475717 / 
Moya knyzhkova polytsya / Моя книжкова полиця
Olena Zhupanova  +380972319905 / 

Vivat Publishing / Віват 
Ruslan Onoshchenko +380508852831 /

Bohdan Publishing House / Навчальна книга – Богдан 
Rights coordinator Tetiana Budna +380673520221 / 

How to help?

Here is also the list of verified options for donations and humanitarian aid to help individually or as organisations. 


Image credit: Palazzo Roberti a Bassano/ALI