Unfinished book by Victoria Amelina to be published by Macmillan imprint


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Victoria Amelina’s forthcoming book, “War & Justice Diary: Looking at Women Looking at War,” is set to be published in early 2025 by St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. The book offers a collection of stories showcasing Ukrainian women’s roles in resisting Russian occupation and leading the fight for their country. The book is unfinished due to the tragic death of Victoria Amelina on July 1, caused by serious injuries sustained during the Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk. 


“When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Victoria Amelina was busy writing a novel, taking part in the country’s literary scene, and parenting her son. Now she became someone new: A war crimes researcher and the chronicler of extraordinary women like herself who joined the resistance,” the description says.

“The heroines of the book are Ukrainians who are striving to achieve ‘spravedlyvist’ (fairness) in the context of moral and ethical norms, or even ‘pravosuddia’ (a rule of law),” Victoria Amelina said about her upcoming book during the BookForum in Lviv in 2022. “The thing is, I am writing the book in English, and in English, unlike in Ukrainian, it is all encompassed by the single word ‘justice.’ Among the heroines are Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of the Center for Civil Liberties, journalists Natalka Gumenyuk and Vira Kuriko, war crime documenters from the NGO ‘Truth Hounds,’ and lawyers Yevheniya Zakrevska and Larysa Denysenko. […] Obviously, I am also a protagonist of the book, as well as Ukrainian cities, towns, and villages: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Izium, Balakliia, Kryvyi Rih, Chernihiv, Kapytolivka, Verbivka, Vysokopillia, Novoselivka, and others.” 


According to Tetyana Teren, director of PEN Ukraine, Victoria Amelina’s book underwent numerous structural changes, as revealed by her archive. Ultimately, the writer adopted a documentary approach, integrating diary entries, reportage stories of her heroines, witness testimonies, investigation and field mission reports, interviews, essays, historical excursions, and poems.


“Life in wartime, with daily losses, has taught us that the only way to cope with pain is to continue the work of those we love. Victoria managed to write about 60% of what was planned, but can we truly assess an author’s accomplishment in the creative process, where the text evolves, changes, and takes shape only through writing? And if we evaluate Victoria’s desire to bring justice to her country, how much closer did she come to achieving it before Russia took her life? This book is not just literature – it is a testament to the horrific crimes Russia has been committing against Ukrainian culture for centuries,” the post reads.


Copy editing: Joy Tataryn, Terra Friedman King