Coming soon

""Ukrainian Portraits: Diaries from the Border."


To be published in 2023 by Guernica Editions


At the end of March of 2022, I travelled to the Ukrainian-Polish border to volunteer at a refugee evacuation centre. Much as I tried to prepare myself psychologically, what I encountered face-to-face didn't fit any of my expectations: I saw a disaster on a massive scale.  I went to volunteer as someone who speaks Russian, Ukrainian and other languages; someone who had been a refugee herself. I soon realized that what the Ukrainian refugees needed most (apart from practical advice) was to talk about their experiences. They needed to be heard.


A Novel


To be published in 2024 by Guernica Editions


Both lighthearted and tragic, this tale of suffering and love takes us to Ukraine, central Russia, Siberia above the Arctic Circle, Montenegro and Canada.   The “silent generations” of the Soviet history speak through  the voice of a woman who is trying to come to terms with the dramatic past of her two countries - Russia and Ukraine - as well as her own family history.

Current Release

"Expulsion & Other Stories"

Guernica Editions

A solitary figure crossing the courtyard at night inching towards a manhole… this is how Moscow looked like in the 50s of the past century.  I thought this photograph to be appropriate for the cover of my new collection of short stories, quite a few of which are  “inhabited” by protagonists born around that time, with a long shadow of Stalin still hovering over their lives.


When I began writing this book the grey monolith of the Soviet civilization, with its language, its signs and symbols seemed to be gone forever: the hammer and sickle eagerly replaced by a two-headed eagle; streets and cities jumping back to their original, pre-revolutionary names. When I finished the book, the history went in reverse, with the KGB operative firmly leading the country to a new abyss. What is it in human psyche that makes such disastrous detours possible? Looking for an answer I wanted to examine the lives of people who were neither heroes nor villains. Among them I found cads and cowards, bureaucrats and secret sadists against whose grim moral backgrounds the small acts of kindness and grace and mercy shine with a brighter, more treasured light.


For the sake of this light I wrote my stories.



Guernica Editions

260 pages

ISBN 9781550719451

"Staff Pick" in spring 2016 edition of BC Bookworld


Link to full article:  BC BOOKWORLD SPRING 202016.

Copyright © 2022 Marina Sonkina. All rights reserved.