Kalani Pickhart Interview: Debut Author Talks Ukraine

Kalani Pickhart, I Will Die in a Foreign LandKalani Pickhart's debut novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land follows four central characters through the tumultuous days of Ukraine's Euromaidan protests that took place between November 2013 and February 2014. The protests are so named because they were centered on Kyiv's Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) and were triggered by then President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union that had been overwhelmingly approved by Ukraine's parliament. The protesters also opposed the overt and widespread corruption of Yanukovych and his ministers. As a result of the protests, an agreement was signed in late February 2014 by Yanukovych that called for the creation of an interim government, constitutional reforms and early elections. Shortly after, Yanukovych and his ministers fled to Russia, and Russia annexed Crimea and the Donbas region.

Released in October 2021, I Will Die in a Foreign Land offers timely insight into the tensions that set the stage for Russia's February 2022 invasion of the remainder of Ukraine. Our review of this novel appears in the March 16th issue of The BookBrowse Review, along with the beyond the book article, "Ukraine Babushkas: The Women Who Refused to Leave Chernobyl."

BookBrowse had a chance to talk to Pickhart about her research and writing process for I Will Die in a Foreign Land. Among other topics, she recommends books and other media for those interested in learning more about current events in Ukraine, the country's politics and culture, and its complex history with Russia.

Interview  |  Review

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