Ukrainian poet and novelist dies from injuries after missile attack
The award-winning Ukrainian novelist and poet Victoria Amelina has died from injuries received in a Russian missile attack on a restaurant in Ukraine last week.
PEN Ukraine announced she had died in a hospital in Dnipro, surrounded by friends and family. The attack that killed Amelina happened at a popular restaurant crowded with civilians. Thirteen people died and more than 60 were injured. Just two days before the attack Amelina was reading poetry at a book fair in Kyiv.
“Now there is a real threat that Russians will successfully execute another generation of Ukrainian culture – this time by missiles and bombs,” she wrote in an article.
Born in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv in 1986, Amelina spent time in Canada with her father as a child. She studied computer science at university and spent a decade working in the tech industry before publishing her first novel in 2015 and building a career in literature. In 2021, she founded a literary festival in New York, Donetsk, a small town that since 2014 has been near the front line.
“When I founded New York literature festival in a small village called New York in the Donbas, I was, of course, being ironic. After all, irony is what makes literature great. Self-irony made the village of New York a fantastic place. Russians have no self-irony. They are so serious about themselves,” she wrote on Twitter, after Russian forces bombed the festival site. "But Ukrainians will survive, laugh and make literature festivals, not war – in all possible New Yorks. I promise.”