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МОЇ ЖІНКИ / My Women, Prose by Yuliia Iliukha, translated into English by Hanna Leliv

scared woman, crying woman
Photo by Pete F.

жінка, яку окупували у власному домі, перетворилася на страх.

вона боялася, що її здасть сусідка навпроти. кілька років тому вони аж до бійки посварилися через прапор на жінчиних воротах і плюнули одна одній у морду. прапор висів аж до окупації.

вона боялася, що її здасть сусід праворуч. колись темної ночі він украв реманент з її погрібника, а жінка викликала на нього поліцію. справу врешті вирішили полюбовно, але осад лишився.

вона боялася, що її здадуть сусіди ліворуч. недавно вони ледь не перегризли одне одному горлянки за межу на городі. розорана межа знову заросла травою, а жінка перестала вітатися з сусідами.

коли по жінку прийшли, вона навіть видихнула з полегшенням. їй більше не треба було чекати найгіршого, для неї воно вже сталося.

сусіди непомітно спостерігали як її забирають через дірки в посічених осколками парканах. жінка намагалася вгадати, хто ж з них на неї доніс, але не вгадала.

бо сільський староста, який на всі свята вправно вдягав вишиванку, давно приготував розстрільні списки.


A woman occupied in her own home became all fear.

She was scared that the neighbor living across the street would rat her out. A few years ago, they had an argument over the Ukrainian flag at the woman’s gate, and it almost came to a fight after they spit on each other. The flag hung there up until the occupation.

She was scared that the neighbor on the right would rat her out. One pitch-dark night, he stole garden tools from her shed, and the woman called the police. The matter was resolved amicably, but the damage had been done.

She was scared that the neighbors on the left would rat her out. Recently, they’d been at each other’s throats for the boundary between their vegetable patches. The plowed-up boundary became overgrown with grass, and the woman stopped saying hello to her neighbors.

When they came to take her away, she even breathed a sigh of relief. She would no longer have to wait for the worst—it had already happened to her.

Through the holes in their shrapnel-damaged fences, the neighbors watched them lead the woman away. She was trying to guess which one of them ratted her out, but her guess was wrong.

Because the village mayor, who’d been dutifully wearing vyshyvanka on all festive occasions, had long drawn up the death lists.


Yuliia Iliukha is a poet, prose writer and journalist, born 1982 in Kharkivska oblast, Ukraine. She is the author of several books for adults and children. Her poems and prose stories have been translated into English, German, Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Catalan, Polish, and Swedish. Her works have appeared in magazines and newspapers of Ukraine, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Spain, UK, Sweden, USA. Iliukha has received a number of awards, including the Oles Honchar International Ukrainian-German Literary Prize, International Literary Contest «Word Coronation 2018» Prize, and Smoloskyp Prize. Currently, she is a writer-in-residence Internationales Haus der Autor:innen in Graz, Austria.

Hanna Leliv is a freelance translator from Lviv, Ukraine. She was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Iowa’s Literary Translation Workshop and mentee at the Emerging Translators Mentorship Program run by the UK National Center for Writing. Her translations of contemporary Ukrainian literature into English have appeared in Asymptote, BOMB, Washington Square Review, The Adirondack Review, The Puritan, and elsewhere. In 2022, Stalking the Atomic City: Life Among the Decadent and the Depraved of Chornobyl, a non-fiction book by Markiyan Kamysh, was published in her translation by Astra House. Currently, she is a translator-in-residence at Dartmouth College.


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