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See note on methodology

It's rare for there to be as clear a winner as in this case, and at least it is a book I have heard of, if not actually read. The book most frequently tagged Ukraine on both LibraryThing and Goodreads is also owned by far more users of both systems than any other book set in Ukraine. As with a lot of the Eastern European (and some of the Western European) winners, it's a story very much in the shadow of the Holocaust, a novel published in 2002 and adapted for a 2005 film starring Elijah Wood as the central character (who has the same name as the book's author). It is:

Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Next on the GoodReads ranking is a book for very young children - the first we've had aimed at that age range - which is a popular American adaptation of a Ukrainian folk-tale:

The Mitten, by Jan Brett

The book which is second most frequently tagged "Ukraine" on both systems is not as widely owned as the winner, and also has a substantial framing narrative set in England, but it was the one I personally thought might be the answer:

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, by Marina Lewycka

The top-ranked author writing in Ukrainian is Andrey Kurkov.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2015 08:20 am (UTC)
Useless information: Marina Lewycka and I went to the same secondary school. (So did Robert Llewellyn.) I found this out about a month after I read A Short History... and loved it, which was nice. I like supporting local authors on principle and it's much easier when I like their work!

Edited at 2015-02-10 08:20 am (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2015 12:27 pm (UTC)
A Short History... is set in Peterborough, where I grew up, so I associate it much more with that. I had no idea Everything is Illuminated was set in Ukraine.

For South Sudan, I'm guessing What is the What (though prob tagged just Sudan), Emma's War (ditto) and some non-fic worthy tome.
Feb. 10th, 2015 01:21 pm (UTC)
Yep, What is the What is way ahead of the field. Emma lags a long way behind; as far as I can tell second place goes to A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park, a book about the war for American schoolchildren.
Feb. 10th, 2015 01:24 pm (UTC)
Does nobody read Sholokhov anymore?
Feb. 10th, 2015 01:35 pm (UTC)
That was my thought exactly, even though I completely failed to finish And Quiet Flows the Don back in my 20s.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 10th, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
I guess I'm a bit unclear on exactly where the dividing line is or was. So it seems is pretty much everybody else.
Feb. 10th, 2015 01:43 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid not; and anyway the Don flows through the Russian Federation for its entire length, not Ukraine.
Feb. 11th, 2015 01:17 am (UTC)
My first thought on this was indeed who except you knows what was Ukraine and what Russia? Hell my grandfather was from Zidessa and Im confused.. I love the Lewynska by the way and she was writer in residence at Sheffield while I was there for another brief connection.. I also saw her speak to the Scottish- Russian association in Edinburgh, with great aplomb
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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