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(Олексій Чупа)

A native of Eastern Ukraine, Oleksiy lived in his hometown of Makiivka until fighting broke out in the Donetsk region in 2014. An unusually prolific writer, he is the author of three collections of poetry, a short story collection, three novels, and four novellas, three of which are still pending publication in Ukrainian. He developed a reputation for his poetry in his early twenties, while working at a metallurgical plant in the Donetsk area, and was dubbed the Father of Donetsk Slam. Since his move to Western Ukraine, Oleksiy has transitioned to a fulltime career of translation and writing. He is a recipient of the Gaude Polonia Fellowship (Poland) and was a finalist for the Joseph Conrad Korzienowski Literary Prize (Poland and Ukraine). Oleksiy’s work has been translated into English and Polish, and his story collection Tales of My Bomb Shelter is scheduled to be published in German in 2019.

Born 1986 in Makiivka, Ukraine.
Currently resides in Podillia, Ukraine.


A still life of seemingly ordinary people on the eve of war, Tales of My Bomb Shelter weaves together stories of the inhabitants of twelve individual apartments in a building in Makiivka in Eastern Ukraine. Though the imminence of war does not weigh on the characters until the tail end of the collection, when the various apartments’ residents are huddled together in the building’s basement as the city is mortared by terrorists, a certain heaviness looms over all of them in their individual stories. From the home-ridden old woman mistreated by her daughter and grandson, to the two Central Asians plotting against local politicians, to the 350-year-old German POW who lurks in apartment walls waiting to eviscerate children, the building’s residents are in turn banally real and grossly fantastical—partly fictional and partly real harbingers of the nightmare about to set in. A condensed yet languid depiction of lives on the brink of being torn asunder, the freshly frank, heartfelt, and tumbling prose of this novel-in-stories reads like an ode to friends lost and forgotten, or perhaps never even known.
Translation sample available.
Full German translation available in fall 2019.

Key words: popular fiction, short stories, novel-in-stories, slipstream, Donetsk, war

Original publication: «Казки мого бомбосховища», KSD/Family Leisure Club, 2015

Anticipated word count: 47,700

English rights holder: Haymon Verlag

Photo credit: Daria Koltsova