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The Wanstead Tap logo

Past event held on Thursday 16 May

Viv Groskop will be in conversation with Olia Hercules
Newham Bookshop logo (2015)
One Ukrainian Summer by Viv Groskop
One Ukrainian Summer is published by Bonnier Books in hardback at £16.99.

Viv Groskop

One Ukrainian Summer

A memoir about falling in love and coming of age in the former USSR

A poignant and often comical account of coming-of-age in the time after the Cold War and before Putin, One Ukrainian Summer is a love letter to a unique moment in history.

Autumn 1993. The former USSR.

Viv is about to turn 21 and is on a study year abroad, supposedly immersed in the language, history and politics of a world that has just ceased to exist: the Soviet Union. Instead, she finds herself immersed in Bogdan Bogdanovich – the lead guitarist of a Ukrainian punk rock band. As the temperature drops, he promises that if she can get through the freezing Russian winter, he will give her “one Ukrainian summer.” But is he serious about her? Or is she just another groupie? At parties, gigs and dive bars, Viv and her new friends argue over whose turn it is to buy cigarettes, the best places to find Levi’s jeans and whether beer counts as a soft drink.

No-one debates the merits of speaking Ukrainian over Russian, the precise location of the border or the undeniable brightness of the future. Of course good times are here to stay. Because the Soviet Union is finished.

Isn’t it?

Viv Groskop confirms that 100% of the income earned by her from this book will be donated to PEN International for their global work supporting writers at risk. Find out more at PEN International is a charity registered in the UK as International PEN (Reg. No. 1117088).

“Groskop skillfully juggles memoir, biography, philosophy, and literary criticism… witty, infectiously engaged, and always thoughtful.” — Madeline Miller on Au Revoir, Tristesse.

All proceeds from this book will be donated to PEN International.