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Yaroslav Trofimov

Tuesday 9th July

Ukrainian Community Centre, 14 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB
Doors Open
Start Time

N.B. Please note this event is now taking place at the Ukrainian Community Centre, 14 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Yaroslav Trofimov joins us to talk all about his debut novel No Country for Love, a beautiful, important and timely rendering of Jewish life in Ukraine through the travails of the 20th century. Come along to hear more about this unsparing account of the tribulations of ordinary Ukrainians, from the Holomodor, through the horrors of World War II, to the death of Stalin.

No Country for Love

Seventeen-year-old Debora Rosenbaum, ambitious and in love with literature, arrives in the capital of the new Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Kharkiv, to make her own fate as a modern woman. The stale and forbidding ways of the past are out; 1930 is a new dawn, the Soviet era, where skyscrapers go up overnight. Debora finds work and meets a dashing young officer named Samuel who is training to become a fighter pilot. They fall in love, and begin to mix with Ukraine's new cultural elite.

But Debora's prospects - and Ukraine's - soon dim. State-induced famine rolls through the over-harvested countryside, and any deviation from Moscow-dictated ideology is punished by disappearance. When Samuel is sentenced to ten years' hard labour, Debora is left on her own with a baby. And this is only the beginning. As advancing Nazi armies move through Ukraine during World War II, its yellow fields of wheat run red with blood. Forced to renounce the man she loves, her identity and even her name, Debora also learns to endure, manipulate and resist.

No Country for Love follows the hard choices Debora makes as Ukraine, caught between two totalitarian ideologies, turns into the deadliest place in the world - while she tries to protect those she loves most.

About Yaroslav Trofimov

Yaroslav Trofimov was born in Kyiv, Ukraine and, after a childhood in Madagascar and adolescence in New York, has worked all over the world for the Wall Street Journal, where he serves as the chief foreign-affairs correspondent. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting in 2022 and in 2023, among many other honours, he is one of the pre-eminent war correspondents of our time and the author of three books of narrative non-fiction. This is his first novel.

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