Punctured Lines is happy to announce an in-person reading by seven women writers who emigrated from the former Soviet Union and now live in (or in one case, coming to visit) Los Angeles. This event follows the original Embattled Homeland reading during LitCrawl in San Francisco in 2022, with ex-Soviet immigrant writers living in the Bay Area. Like its San Francisco predecessor, the Los Angeles event is in support of Ukraine, which has been defending itself against Russia’s unprovoked attack for nearly a year. While the reading is free, we encourage people to donate to the vetted organizations below. Many thanks to Sasha Vasilyuk for organizing this event.
Our performance is free, but please consider supporting these organizations:
- Ukraine Trust Chain supports volunteers in Ukraine
- Project Kesher provides emergency support for women and girls in Ukraine
- Writers and Newspapers in Odesa, organized by poet Ilya Kaminsky
- Memorial, international human rights organization
Please read more about the writers below:
Julia Alekseyeva was born in Kyiv in the former USSR and emigrated to Chicago in childhood. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a graphic artist specializing in non-fiction comics. Her first full-length graphic novel, a nonfiction historical memoir entitled Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution, was published by Microcosm in January 2017 and won the VLA Diversity Award. She has published non-fiction graphic essays in The Nib, Jewish Currents, Paper Brigade, World Literature Today, and Lilith, and was one of the guest editors of the Soviet Issue of Jewish Currents in Winter-Spring 2022. www.jalekseyeva.com and @thesoviette on socials
Katya Apekina is a novelist, screenwriter and translator. Her novel, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish, was named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus, Buzzfeed, and others, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, French, German and Italian. She has published stories in various literary magazines and translated poetry and prose for Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (FSG, 2008), short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. She has done residencies at VCCA, Playa, Ucross, Art Omi: Writing and Fondation Jan Michalski in Switzerland. Born in Moscow, she immigrated to the U.S. in 1986. www.apekina.com
Inna Effress is a speechwriter, fiction writer, and poet who emigrated from Ukraine to the United States as a child. Her work appears in numerous publications, including CutBank, Air/Light Magazine, Santa Monica Review, Swan River Press’s Uncertainties series, and Strange Tales at 30 (Tartarus Press). Inna writes for grassroots organizations and leaders in California that are working to bring equitable outcomes to their communities. www.innaeffress.com / @InnaEffress on Twitter
Yelena Furman was born in what was then Kiev, the Soviet Union and is now Kyiv, Ukraine. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches Russian literature at UCLA. Her fiction has appeared in Narrative and the Willesden Herald, book reviews in the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Baffler, and academic articles in various venues. She and Olga Zilberbourg co-run Punctured Lines, a feminist blog on post-Soviet and diaspora literatures. Twitter @YelenaFurman
Rimma Kranet is a Ukrainian American writer with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from University of California Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Across The Margin, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Construction Lit, EcoTheo Collective, Fence, The Common Breath, Door Is A Jar Magazine, and others. Featured in The Short Vigorous Roots: A Contemporary Flash Fiction Collection of Migrant Voices and the IHRAF Ukrainian Voices Anthology. She resides between Florence, Italy and Los Angeles, California. Twitter @ RKranet
Ruth Madievsky is the author of a debut novel, All-Night Pharmacy (Catapult, 2023) and a poetry collection, “Emergency Brake” (Tavern Books, 2016). Her work appears in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is a founding member of the Cheburashka Collective, a community of women and nonbinary writers whose identity has been shaped by immigration from the Soviet Union to the United States. Originally from Moldova, she lives in Los Angeles, where she works as an HIV and primary care pharmacist. www.ruthmadievsky.com / @ruthmadievsky on socials.
Sasha Vasilyuk is a journalist and author of the novel Your Presence Is Mandatory, set between Hitler’s Germany and post-war Ukraine. It will be published in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Finland and Brazil in 2024. Sasha’s writing has been published in The New York Times, TIME, NBC, Harper’s Bazaar, BBC Radio, USA Today, The Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, and Narrative. Sasha grew up between Crimea, Moscow, and San Francisco. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and children. www.sashavasilyuk.com / @sashavasilyuk on socials