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23 Mondegreen Songs about Death and Love

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Vladimir Putin has claimed at various junctures that Ukrainian is not a distinct language and has used the defense of Russian-speaking people as a justification for his invasion of Ukraine.

Mondegreen Songs about Death and Loveis a beautifully crafted counterargument to that point. The book, although fiction, draws heavily from the experience of the author, Volodymyr Rafayenko, a native of Donetsk who grew up speaking Russian. Rafayenko was displaced by the war in 2014 and moved to Kyiv, where, as a Russian speaker, felt himself to be both a victim of the war and in a strange way, somewhat responsible.

Rafayenko took it upon himself to learn Ukrainian, and although he has written many other novels in Russian, Mondegreen is his first Ukrainian-language novel. Its English translation will be available in March 2022. The book explores themes of language, displacement, and memory through the eyes of Haba Habinsky, a refugee from Donbas who builds a new life in Kyiv and learns Ukrainian.

The book, written in an experimental style, is riddled with plays on words and interpretations. A mondegreen is something that is heard improperly by someone who then clings to that misinterpretation as the true meaning. The book is a probing exploration into selfhood when faced with displacement and a testament to the resilience of Ukrainian identity.  

More Information
Product type Soft Cover Book
Height 2
Length 21
Width 15
Number of pages 176
Language English
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