Chapter 1: Literature on Edge: Cultural Hybridity, Identities, and Reading StrategiesChapter 2: Cultural Geographies: Regionalism and Territorial Identities in LiteratureChapter 3: Gender Matters: Women’s Literary DiscourseChapter 4: Language Choice and Language as ProtagonistChapter 5: Ways of Social Marginalization in Post-Independence Fiction: Ideology, Disease, and Crime Chapter 6: Popular Literature and National Identity ConstructionConclusion: Toward a New National LiteratureEpilogue: Literature in a Time of War
Ukraine’s Quest for Identity: Embracing Cultural Hybridity in Literary Imagination, 1911–2011 represents a thoughtful, innovative, and well-researched study of the country’s literary production dating back to the first two decades of its independence. Most importantly, this monograph also contributes to the long-term development of the field by laying out a sustainable methodology to explore the phenomenon of hybridity in other post-Soviet literatures and cultures.
This is Rewakowicz's third scholarly book and in it she examines several aspects of post-communist Ukrainian prose and poetry and individual and national self-formation. Rewakowicz (Rutgers Univ.; Univ. of Washington) proposes that multi-thematic, multiform literary creations reflect the sociopolitical and cultural growing pains that accompanied the two decades in which Ukraine shed its enslaving Russian communist rule. The postcolonial themes and attitudes of literary work reflect the deeply rooted inferiority complex engendered by the years of despicable references to non-native Russian speakers of occupied nations. Rewakowicz points out that the secondary role of native tongue is difficult to overcome, even when legalized as national language. The author analyzes several works, looking at national and political Ukrainian allegiance in the authors’ use of surzhyk patois; popular literature assumes the role of a signpost, directing readers' attention to the shaping of national cultural and linguistic identity. Offering postmodern feminist and post-imperialist perspectives, this is fine scholarship.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.