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PAVLO STEKH

(Павло Стех)

Currently the youngest author under our representation, Pavlo is one of the most promising new writers of creative nonfiction in Ukraine, a relatively new genre in the country. At age twenty-three, he won the 2017 Samovydets Literary Reportage Award (Ukraine) with his essay “Over a Precipice, in Rust,” for which he set out on a three-day train excursion, traversing Ukraine from east to west. The award, which includes a publishing contract with the best nonfiction press in Ukraine, led to the publication of Pavlo’s first travelogue Over a Precipice, in Rust, for which he won the Litakcent Literary Award (Ukraine) in 2018. Pavlo holds a graduate degree in communications from V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University and works as a journalist for various outlets in Ukraine and abroad. He was born and raised in the village of Berlyn outside Lviv, and has been living in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv since age sixteen. 

Born 1993 in Berlyn, Ukraine.
Currently resides in Kharkiv, Ukraine.


OVER A PRECIPICE, IN RUST

2017 Samovydets Literary Reportage Award

A delightful and slim travelogue that peers into the daily lives of ordinary Ukrainians the country over, Over a Precipice, in Rust is a chronicle of the author’s journey across and around the country on elektrichkas. The elektrichka, a regional commuter train popular throughout Eastern Europe that continues to serve as the primary means of transport for residents of provincial Ukraine, was a staple of Soviet existence and, as Stekh illustrates, remains an emblem of Ukraine’s suburban and outlying regions. Armed with a mission to take a good, close look at the daily lives of his fellow countrymen, Stekh set out on a journey in which most of his time was spent on these commuter trains, on railway platforms, or in their adjacent station buildings. The description of his travels is artfully interwoven with reflections on the country’s history, musings about the country’s political situation, facts about the cities through which the trains are passing, and general ruminations about what goes on in the heads of the other passengers. Over a Precipice, in Rust is a young, fresh, candid, and alternately biting and funny look at the Ukrainian everyman, in his early-morning or post-debauchery glory, as he moves by rote through his day, his region, his life.
Translation sample available upon request.

Key words: creative nonfiction, travelogue, elektrichkas, Ukrainian everyman, suburbia

Original publication: «Над прірвою в іржі», Tempora, 2018

Anticipated word count: 33,000

English rights holder: Tempora

 
Photo credit: Daria Koltsova