The main theme of our Winter 2019 Issue is "Malady" which seems to us to describe perfectly the era where progressive thinking meets the rigidity of traditionalism. This is not to give credence to the hyper-present and artificially constructed controversies which occupy news headlines and social media posts, but rather the timelessness of sentiments and actions which inspire bouts of euphoria and suffering. We live in a world where we praise originality which inevitably becomes a trend, where looking for love can end up as nourishing as a fast food meal... let us allow this to sink in, to ruminate on it through the prism of storytelling. What kind of an impact does storytelling have on us, if any? Does it bring us the catharsis we seek, some retribution in the form of an afterthought? Is it worth sharing even the most painful of experiences, or are we better off keeping them closely-guarded to the chest? We offer these stories and poems as a possible remedy to these questions, and to what ails our souls.
It is also the one-year anniversary of our issue on contemporary Ukrainian literature in translation, and the beginning of our overall efforts to introduce more Central and Eastern European literature to an English-speaking audience. It is worth noting, dear Readers, that Yuri Andrukhovych’s novel Darlings of Justice (an excerpt of which is included in this latest issue) recently won BBC Ukraine’s “Book of the Year” award, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. Artem Chapeye’s short story collection The Ukraine was also a huge literary success in the past year. We hope, with each text you read, that your world becomes even bigger.