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A captivating and original street-level account of a vexing and troubled region
Sophie Pinkham lives in New York. Her writing on Russia and Ukraine has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, n+1, the London Review of Books and Foreign Affairs, among other publications.
Sophie Pinkham is a wry, erudite observer of human foibles,
political illusions, and funny hats. In Ukraine and its complex and
tragic confrontation with Russia (and itself), she has found the
perfect subject. Anyone who wants an explanation of Ukraine's
recent history that goes beyond Kremlin propaganda and Western
media oversimplification should read this book. -- Keith Gessen,
translator of 'Voices from Chernobyl'
Essential reading. What makes Black Square superb, to my mind, is Pinkham's keen eye for the dark comedy and tragedy that mark so many of her subjects. Her portraits of individual Ukrainians and Russians are as rich and nuanced as her synthesis of their national histories and politics. The result is a book whose literary achievement will outlast its timeliness. -- Anthony Marra, author of 'A Constellation of Vital Phenomena'
Black Square is as elegant, suggestive, ominous, beautiful, and deceptively simple as, well, a black square. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the sheer number and diversity of people Sophie Pinkham has spoken to is how deftly she has woven their stories into a single compulsively readable narrative. -- Elif Batuman, author of 'The Possessed'
An empathetic and deeply humanising look at troubled times and dangerous, revolutionary days. -- Peter Pomerantsev, author of 'Nothing is True and Everything is Possible'
Black Square is a remarkable historical memoir: humane, shocking and full of brilliant insight. Sophie Pinkham never succumbs to easy judgement. Her book is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the tragic and dangerous confrontation between Ukraine and Russia. -- Rachel Polonsky, author of 'Molotov's Magic Lantern'