photo credit: Taras Bezpalyy

photo credit: Taras Bezpalyy


(Ілларіон Павлюк)

Born in southern Ukraine on the Black Sea, Illarion spent ten years of his childhood in the far east of Russia due to the political persecution of his journalist parents and returned to Ukraine in his late teens. He worked for a number of years as a news correspondent and journalist, prior to moving into television and film. Illarion is the author, screenwriter, and/or producer of over ten documentaries and films, and served as a member of the jury for the 2011 Emmy Awards. He currently serves as the creative producer of Ivory Films, an independent studio in Kyiv, of which he is a co-founder. Illarion’s first novel White Ash was published in 2018 and was immediately followed by the novella Maria, It’s Christmas. His second novel The Dance of the Simpleton is forthcoming in 2019, and a third is in progress. In 2015, Illarion served as an intelligence volunteer in the war in Eastern Ukraine.

Born 1980 in Skadovsk, Ukraine.
Currently resides in Kyiv, Ukraine.


At the behest of a wealthy countess, private detective Taras Biliy sets out in search of a stolen pendant, which will lead him into the employ of a Cossack lieutenant seeking to identify his daughter’s killer. The page-turning events of this novel play out at a farmstead outside of Kyiv, mysteriously covered in white ash, where demons and hell loom near and are ever-present in the daily lives of its inhabitants. Part murder mystery and part psychological thriller, Pavliuk’s impeccable sense of plot and timing, gleaned form a career in film, make White Ash one of the most irresistible reads in contemporary Ukrainian literature. Rituals and the occult are interwoven with psychological twists and turns that leave the reader endlessly guessing. Taras’ inability to remember his own past, his vague memories of a murdered woman in his arms, and his questions about his own parents’ disappearance all surface repeatedly as the novel progresses to a completely unexpected conclusion.
Translation sample available upon request.

Key words: popular fiction, murder mystery, historical fiction, psychological thriller

Original publication: «Білий попіл», Old Lion Publishing, 2018

Anticipated word count: 86,500

English rights holder: Author

Photo credit: Daria Koltsova