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I Will Die in a Foreign Land

I Will Die in a Foreign Land

by Kalani Pickhart
I Will Die in a Foreign Land

I Will Die in a Foreign Land

by Kalani Pickhart


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A razor-sharp debut that follows four disparate people during the 2014 Maidan revolution in Ukraine. A novel that is both beautifully poetic and intensely moving, I Will Die in a Foreign Land is the kind of read that feels like a timeless ballad detailing the connections of humankind and the tragedy of war. A must-read.

* 2022 Young Lions Fiction Award, Winner.
* VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, Longlist.
* An ABA "Indie Next List" pick for November 2021.
* "A Best Book of 2021" New York Public LibraryCosmopolitan, Independent Book Review
* "October 2021 Must-Reads" 
DebutifulThe Chicago Review of BooksThe Millions

In 1913, a Russian ballet incited a riot in Paris at the new Théâtre de Champs-Elysées. “Only a Russian could do that," says Aleksandr Ivanovich. “Only a Russian could make the whole world go mad.”

A century later, in November 2013, thousands of Ukrainian citizens gathered at Independence Square in Kyiv to protest then-President Yanukovych’s failure to sign a referendum with the European Union, opting instead to forge a closer alliance with President Vladimir Putin and Russia. The peaceful protests turned violent when military police shot live ammunition into the crowd, killing over a hundred civilians.

I Will Die in a Foreign Land follows four individuals over the course of a volatile Ukrainian winter, as their lives are forever changed by the Euromaidan protests. Katya is an Ukrainian-American doctor stationed at a makeshift medical clinic in St. Michael’s Monastery; Misha is an engineer originally from Pripyat, who has lived in Kyiv since his wife’s death; Slava is a fiery young activist whose past hardships steel her determination in the face of persecution; and Aleksandr Ivanovich, a former KGB agent, who climbs atop a burned-out police bus at Independence Square and plays the piano.

As Katya, Misha, Slava, and Aleksandr’s lives become intertwined, they each seek their own solace during an especially tumultuous and violent period. The story is also told by a chorus of voices that incorporates folklore and narrates a turbulent Slavic history.

While unfolding an especially moving story of quiet beauty and love in a time of terror, I Will Die in a Foreign Land is an ambitious, intimate, and haunting portrait of human perseverance and empathy.

"Kalani Pickhart's timely debut novel, I Will Die In a Foreign Land, is about the 2014 Ukrainian revolution which provided a pretense for Russia to annex Crimea. The story follows the experiences of several characters whose lives intersect as the country's political situation deteriorates. There's a Ukrainian-American doctor, an old KGB spy, a former mine worker, and others, and these episodes are interspersed with folk songs, news reports and historical notes. The effect—kaleidoscopic but never confusing—provides an intimate sense of a country convulsing, mourning, and somehow surviving."
CBS News, "The Book Report: Recommendations from Washington Post critic Ron Charles"
(Watch the full video on CBS News, February 6, 2022).

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781953387097
Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
Publication date: 10/19/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Sales rank: 113,827
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kalani Pickhart is the author of the historical novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land, which has received praise from CBS News, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, and more. The novel is long-listed for the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award, and was named one of the New York Public Library's "Best Books for Adults" of 2021. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, TriQuarterly Review, and elsewhere. Kalani was selected as an inaugural 2022 New Voices Literary Fellow for the Sun Valley Writers' Conference and has been the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia G. Piper Center and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Intelligence for Eastern European and Eurasian Studies. Kalani currently lives and writes in Phoenix, Arizona. Find more here:

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