Friday, September 23, 2022

Life Went On Anyway


Life Went On Anyway / Oleg Sentsov
trans. from the Russian by Uilleam Blacker
Dallas, TX: Deep Vellum, 2019, c2015
104 p.

Another book by a Ukrainian man, published by Deep Vellum, this one consists of short semi-autobiographical stories by Oleg Sentsov, a Sakharov Peace Prize-winning filmmaker & writer who was in prison in Russia while writing these. He was arrested and sentenced to 20 years for "terrorism" charges, created by sham Russian occupiers. These stories were shared by PEN International and others to draw more attention to his plight. 

Fortunately, he was released from prison in 2019 after a hunger strike, and returned to Crimea. He now serves in the Ukrainian armed forces.

This collection is light in the sense that it's reflective, mainly about childhood, and the selections are really short. You can easily read this in one go. The final story is the one that says something about Crimea specifically, but all together, the stories give a sense of life in Ukraine for his generation. The memories spur some philosophizing in the stories; the stories feel simple and straightforward, not overworked but honest. It's a small book but one that rewards a reader. 

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