Uilleam Blacker (UK), translator of Taras Prokhasko's The UnSimple, provides some important insights into why Ukrainian literature is interesting for the European reader:
"Ukrainian literature can be a very revealing and useful prism to look at the question of European identity. Ukraine is geographically and politically on the margin of Europe, and its status as a European country is perceived by both Ukrainians and “Europeans” as questionable and under threat. This knife-edge position makes many culturally aware Ukrainians, especially writers, very nervous and rather obsessed by the Europeanness or otherwise of their country. This nervous obsession has resulted in a literature which explores the idea of Europeanness in exhaustive depth, and also from a marginal perspective which is unfamiliar and refreshing for the reader from Western Europe,"
and summarizes the nature of contemporary Ukrainian literature in three words:
"Neurotic, Energetic, Promising".
Uilleam Blacker is a PhD student at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He is writing his thesis on representations of space in contemporary Ukrainian literature. He previously studied Ukrainian, Russian and Polish literature at the University of Glasgow and in the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He has published several articles and reviews on these literatures.
From Contemporary Ukrainian Literature: Review (2009)