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Lina Kostenko


Lina Kostenko (19.03.1930) is the most famous modern Ukrainian poetess. She was born in the city of Rzhyshchiv in Kyiv region. She graduated from the Moscow Literary Institute (1956), debuted with her collections “The Rays of Earth” (1957) and “The Sails” (1958), that were highly acclaimed by the readership.

The book “The Journeys of theb Heart” (1961) placed her name among the most outstanding masters of Ukrainian poetry. During the Soviet regime her talented uncompromised works were persecuted and banned for many years. But it was during those very years that the poetess was working most relentlessly – particularly on her most famous work nowadays, which is her novel in verse called “Marusia Churay”.

The books by Lina Kostenko “Above the Banks of an Eternal River” (1977), “Marusia Churay” (1979), “Uniqueness” (1980), “The Garden of Unmeltable Sculptures” (1987), “Selected” (1989), “Berestechko” (1999, 2010) became the pinnacle phenomena of the modern Ukrainian poetry.

She has also written her collection of poems for children called “The Elder King” (1987), the screenplay to the film “Chornobyl. The Funeral” (1993). She also translated from Polish and other languages and wrote a range of literary studies that became high exemplars of the Ukrainian literary criticism.

“Diary of a Ukrainian Madman” is the first prose novel of the remarkable poetess.

Lina Kostenko is the Professor Emeritus of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the Honoured Doctor of the Lviv and Chernivtsi National Universities.

She is also a laureate of the Shevchenko Award and the awards of the Antonovych Foundation (USA), the Petrarka Award (Italy) and Olena Teliha Award.

Her works have been translated by several European languages.

Published by A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA in Ukrainian: