A Biography of a Chance Miracle explores the life of Lena, a young girl growing up in the somewhat vapid, bureaucracy-ridden and nationalistic Western Ukrainian city of San Francisco. Lena is a misfit from early childhood due to her unwillingness to scorn everything Russian, her propensity for befriending forlorn creatures, her aversion to the status quo, and her fear of living a stupid and meaningless life. As her friends enter college, Lena sets forth on a mission to defend the abused and downtrodden of San Francisco—be they canine or human—armed with nothing more than an arsenal of humor, stubbornness, chutzpah and no shortage of imagination. Her successes are minimal at best, but in the process of trying to save San Francisco’s collective humanity, she may end up saving her own. At first glance a crazy and combative girl, Lena just may be the salvation that the Ukrainians of San Francisco sorely need.
With haiku-like precision, Tanja’s deceptively simple writing style blends surrealism and magical realism with satirical wit, occasionally outlandish humor and poignant social commentary. The German literary media has described her depictions of contemporary Ukraine as full of humor and absurdity, but “more exact and harsher” than those of her peers, comparing her to the 19th-century Russian satirist Saltykov-Shchedrin and hailing her as “a name to be remembered.” This work, her most provocative to date, was a finalist for the 2012 BBC Book of the Year Award in Ukraine, and has been lauded as “simply ingenious” by fellow Ukrainian authors.
|5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.56(d)
About the Author
Zenia Tompkins holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and the University of Virginia and began translating after fifteen years in the education and private sectors. She is the founder of The Tompkins Agency for Ukrainian Literature in Translation (TAULT), a nonprofit literary agency and translation house. This, her first translation, won the 2017 Kovaliv Fund Prize, a biennial American award for best translation of a Ukrainian work. Zenia is proficient in eight languages and translates exclusively from Ukrainian. She currently lives in Latin America as the spouse of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer.
Joe Reimer, hailing from Alberta, Canada, is a full-time artist, photographer and teacher who works in a variety of styles, mediums and subject matter. Having several artistic passions allows Joe to keep his work fresh and new, while still maintaining a high level of quality and mastery.
Joe is also well known for his abstract portrait portfolio. His philosophy for these striking portraits is to only add detail to the essential components of the face, while completely abstracting the rest of the image. These pieces are full of movement and energy, conveying very strong, powerful emotions. He is drawn to the notion of capturing the messiness of our humanity and finding beauty in places we wouldn't normally think to look for it.