When this book was written, it was the story of one death among many in the war in Eastern Ukraine. After February 24, 2022, it took on a new dimension - now it is not only a personal story, but the story of a country under severe attack.
The premonitions about Putin’s intentions that moved the author’s brother to join the Ukrainian armed forces and defend his country have now come to pass in the most horrific way.
Olesya Khromeychuk tells the story of her brother Volodymyr Pavliv, who was killed on the front line in 2017, taking the point of view of a civilian and a woman - perspectives that tend to be neglected in war accounts - and focusing on the stories that take place far away from the war zone. Through a combination of personal memoir and essay, Olesya Khromeychuk brings her readers closer to the events of this brutal war in the heart of Europe and to the private experience of war itself. This book speaks to anyone struggling with grief and the shock of the sudden loss of a loved one.
This new edition was updated after Russia started the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 by Monoray with new chapters and a new Foreword by Philippe Sands.
Praise for the first edition:
[A] moving and elegantly written account, A Loss, reflects on an older brother whom she got to know better after he died than before.
Julian Evans, TLS
In A Loss, Khromeychuk shows that the experience of grief transcends individual circumstance and in fact, unites us. In doing so, she connects readers to the collective grief that most Ukrainians are unconsciously carrying. I hope that, when the book is published in Ukraine, it will help people there to work through the pain and trauma of the last seven years.
Isobel Koshiw, Los Angeles Review of Books
Grappling. I admire a book that invites me to grapple with knotty questions. Olesya Khromeychuk has written such a book–beautifully. Feminism and drones. Funerals and theater. Shrapnel and combat boots–size 8. ‘A Loss’ explores the lures of militarism at a granular level.
Professor Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War
Moving, intelligent, and brilliantly written, this is a sister’s reckoning with a lost brother, an émigré’s with the country of her childhood, and a scholar’s with her own suddenly acutely personal subject matter. A wonderful combination of emotional and intellectual honesty; very sad and direct but also rigorous and nuanced. It even manages to be funny.
Anna Reid, author of Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine
There has always been too much silence around the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine—Europe's forgotten war. Olesya Khromeychuk refuses to bend to this silence. In vivid, intimate prose and with unflinching honesty, she introduces us to the brother she lost in the war and found in her grief. Poignant, wise, and unforgettable.
Dr Rory Finnin, Associate Professor in Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge