Posthumous book by Ukrainian author Victoria Amelina will document war crimes since Russian invasion

NEW YORK (AP) — A posthumous book by Victoria Amelina, the Ukrainian author killed last year during a Russian missile strike, will be published in February upon the war’s third anniversary.

“Looking at Women Looking at War: A War and Justice Diary,” which draws upon Amelina’s interviews with 11 women who had been documenting war crimes since the Russian invasion, was left unfinished. Her husband, Oleksandr Amelin, was among those who helped edit and complete the book, which will include a foreword by Margaret Atwood.

“A powerful testament to the courage and determination of women at war, the book follows the paths of female journalists, writers, human rights defenders, lawyers, and volunteers who document war crimes in Ukraine while the war is still ongoing,” according to St. Martin’s Press, which announced the project Monday, exactly a year since Amelina’s death.

“It is also a personal war journal that chronicles the author’s transformation from novelist and mother into a war crimes researcher.”

The 37-year-old Amelina was the author of two novels and a children’s book. She traveled to areas liberated from the Russians and recorded survivors’ testimony. At the time of Amelina’s death, Columbia University had awarded her a residency in Paris that would enable her to work on her book. Her interview subjects included Oleksandra Matviichuk, the human rights lawyer and the winner in 2022 of a Nobel Peace Prize.

Amelina was a member of PEN International, the literary and free expression organization.

“This book is the voice of Ukraine fighting for its freedom and future,” Tetyana Teren, executive director of PEN Ukraine, said in a statement. “This book is the voice of a writer who, in the most difficult time for her country, chose the role of testifying about the war crimes of the Russians and seeking punishment for the perpetrators.”

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