Serhiy Zhadan

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Serhiy Zhadan
Serhiy Zhadan 2015.jpg
Serhiy Zhadan, 2015, Wrocław
Born Сергі́й Ві́кторович Жада́н
(1974-08-23) 23 August 1974 (age 47)
Starobilsk, Luhansk Oblast, Soviet Ukraine
Nationality Ukrainian
Alma mater Kharkiv University
Occupation poet, novelist, translator

Serhiy Viktorovych Zhadan (Ukrainian: Сергі́й Ві́кторович Жада́н; born 23 August 1974) is a Ukrainian poet, novelist, essayist, and translator.

Life and career

Zhadan was born in Starobilsk, Luhansk Oblast in Ukraine. He graduated from Kharkiv University in 1996, then spent three years as a graduate student of philology. He taught Ukrainian and world literature from 2000 to 2004, and thereafter retired from teaching. He lives and works in Kharkiv.

Zhadan has translated poetry from German, English, Belarusian, and Russian, from such poets as Paul Celan and Charles Bukowski. His own works have been translated into German, English, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Lithuanian, Belarusian, Russian, Hungarian, Armenian, Swedish and Czech.

In March 2008, the Russian translation of his novel Anarchy in the UKR made the short list of the National Bestseller Prize. It was also a contender for "Book of the Year" at the 2008 Moscow International Book Exhibition.

His novel Anthem of Democratic Youth has been adapted for the stage and is being performed at the Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theater in Kyiv.

Serhiy Zhadan at "Rock for change" rally in Kharkiv, 2013

In 2013, he participated in Euromaidan demonstrations in Kharkiv.[1][2] In 2014, he was assaulted outside the administration building in Kharkiv.[3]

Music projects

Zhadan collaborated with Kharkiv-based music band Luk. Most of Luk's Ukrainian-language songs included lyrics based on works by Zhadan (in particular the first album Tourist zone is based on Zhadan's play "Merry Christmas, Jesus Christ").

The tribute album Khor monholskykh militsioneriv (Mongol policemen choir) was released in 2008. The songs include lyrics by Zhadan, performed by Kharkiv musicians.

Since 2008, Zhadan has collaborated with another Kharkiv ska-band Sobaky v Kosmosi. They released three albums — Sportyvny Klub Armiyi, Zbroya Proletariatu and Byisya za neyi.

Critical reception

Rostislav Melnikov and Yuriy Tsaplin of the New Literary Review wrote in 2007:

Zhadan's prose is so poetic, his free verse so prosaic. It is difficult to assign a genre to his work: memoir, travelogue, timely or untimely meditation - or a mixture of all these, centered on the themes my generation and our epoch.[4]

Kirill Ankudinov, writing for in June 2008, said:

There is no summarizing the spicy, hot, sweet, vicious improvisations of Serhiy Zhadan - this is verbal jazz. When you read him, you fear for contemporary Russian literature: of those now writing in the Russian language, there is none among them who is so infernally free (and above all, free from "writerly" prose, from the tendency to "produce an impression").[5]



  • General Yuda (Генерал Юда), 1995.
  • Pepsi (Пепсі), (1998).
  • The very best poems, psychedelic stories of fighting and other bullshit: Selected Poems, 1992-2000 (Вибрані поезії), 2000.
  • Ballads of the War and Reconstruction (Балади про війну і відбудову), 2000.
  • The History of Culture at the Beginning of the Century (Історія культури початку століття), (2003)
  • Maradona (Марадона), 2007.
  • Ethiopia (Ефіопія), 2009.
  • Lili Marlene (Лілі Марлен), 2009.


  • Big Mac (Біґ Мак; short story collection), 2003.
  • Depeche Mode (Депеш Мод), 2004; Glagoslav Publications Limited, 2013, ISBN 9781909156845
  • Anarchy in the UKR, 2005.
  • Anthem of Democratic Youth (Гімн демократичної молоді), 2006.
  • Big Mac² (Біґ Мак²; short story collection), 2007.
  • Voroshilovgrad (Ворошиловград), 2010.
  • Big Mac and Other Stories (Біґ Мак та інші історії), 2011.
  • Mesopotamia (Месопотамія; nine stories and thirty poems), 2014.


  • Capital (Капітал), 2006 - includes everything but The History of Culture at the Beginning of the Century, Big Mac, and Maradona.

Anthologized poetry

  • Stanislav+2 (Станислав+2), 2001.
  • "Ch" Time - Verses on Chechnya and Not Only (Время `Ч`. Стихи о Чечне и не только), 2001.
  • We Will Not Die in Paris (Мы умрем не в Париже), 2002.
  • The History of Culture (История культуры), 2004.
  • The Unknown Ukraine (НеИзвестная Украина), 2005.

Poetry in English translations



  1. McGrane, Sally (8 March 2014). "The Abuse of Ukraine's Best-Known Poet". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Ukraine activists swap Lenin for Lennon". BBC. 23 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Maksymiuk, Jan; Bigg, Claire (11 March 2014). "Ukraine's Rock Star Poet Who Chose To Fight Back". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 12 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Melnikov, Rostislav; Tsaplin, Yuriy (2007). "Northeast of the Southwest: The Contemporary Literature of Kharkiv". The New Literary Review, #85.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Ankudinov, Kirill (5 June 2008). "Adventures in April". Vzglyad.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Brack, Joëlle (28 November 2014). "Prix Jan Michalski 2014". Payot Libraire. Retrieved 29 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "BBC Ukrainian Book of the Year 2014 and Book of the Decade winners named". The FINANCIAL. 13 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Булкина, Инна. "Кроме Нобеля: Ангелус и другие" (in Russian). Gefter. Retrieved 16 December 2015.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links