Brothers Anton and Tolik reunite at their family home to bury their recently deceased mother. An otherwise natural ritual unfolds under extraordinary circumstances: their house is on the front line of a war ignited by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Isolated without power or running water, the brothers’ best hope for success and survival lies in the declared cease fire—the harvest truce. But such hopes are swiftly dashed, as it becomes apparent that the conflagration of war will not abate.
With echoes of Waiting for Godot, Serhiy Zhadan’s A Harvest Truce stages a tragicomedy in which the commonplace experiences of death, birth, and the cycles of life marked by the practices of growing and harvesting food are rendered futile and farcical in the wake of the indifferent juggernaut of war.
Serhiy Zhadan is a globally recognized poet and writer, translator, performer, and activist, and one of the best-known Ukrainian cultural figures. His numerous literary and cultural awards include Book of the Year, Ukraine; BBC Ukraine Book of the Year; Hubert Burda Prize; Joseph Conrad-Korzeniowski Literary Award; Brücke Berlin Prize; Jan Michalski Prize for Literature; Angelus Central European Literature Award; Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry, and many others.
Nina Murray is a poet and an award-winning translator of Ukrainian literature, including works by Oksana Zabuzhko, Oksana Lutsyshyna, Serhiy Zhadan, and Lesia Ukrainka. She is the author of several poetry collections and a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service.