The book is a first person account of a soldier’s journey, and is based on Artem Chekh’s diary that he wrote while and after his service in the war in Donbas. One of the most important messages the book conveys is that war means pain. Chekh is not showing the reader any heroic combat, focusing instead on the quiet, mundane, and harsh soldier’s life. Chekh masterfully selects the most poignant details of this kind of life.
Oksana Lutsyshyna is the author of four books and fiction and five collections of poetry, the latest of which just came out in English in 2019 (Persephone Blues, Arrowsmith). She is a novelist, a poet, and a translator, and most of her books are published in her native Ukrainian language. Oksana currently works as Lecturer in Ukrainian Studies at the University of Texas in Austin, where she teaches Ukrainian language and Eastern European literatures. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia.
Olena Jennings is the author of Songs from an Apartment (Underground Books, 2017) and Memory Project (Underground Books, 2018). Her translation from Ukrainian of Iryna Shuvalova’s poetry collection, Pray to the Empty Wells, in collaboration with the author, was released in September 2019 by Lost Horse Press. She is a 2018 recipient of a New Work Grant from the Queens Council of the Arts. She is the founder and curator of the Poets of Queens reading series. She holds an MFA in writing fiction from Columbia University and an MA in Ukrainian Literature from the University of Alberta.
Endorsements and Review Quotes
“The focus is much more on how the soldiers react to the daily life of being a soldier with the possibility of attack being only one of their concerns. It could have been dull but never is as Chekh keeps the story varied with something new continually happening.” The Modern Novel
“Chekh, a contemporary Ukrainian author of eight novels, was drafted into the Army following the Russian advance on eastern Ukraine in 2014. In Absolute Zero, he lays out a relentless, guileless account of life in post-Soviet military service.” The Millions