Juri Andruchowytsch

Twelve rings - Novel

Original Ukrainian title: Dvanadcjat‘ obručiv, published in 2003 by Krytyka
(German title: Zwölf Ringe)
ca. 320 pages
Juri Andruchowytsch
Foto: Juri Andruchowytsch
© Susanne Schleyer

Juri Andruchowytsch was born in 1960 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. He is considered the leading contemporary Ukrainian writer. He writes poems, prose, essays and translates from German and Polish.

Awards (selection):
Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europäischen Verständigung 2006
Sonderpreis des Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreises 2005

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English world rights (Spuyten Duyvil), Spanish world rights (Quaderns Crema/El Acantilado), France (Noir sur Blanc), Poland (Czarne), Hungary (Gondolat), Bulgaria (Paradox), Romania (RAO), Lithuania (Lithuanian Writers), Croatia (Fraktura), Serbia ("Filip Visnjic")


In the 1990s, Karl-Joseph Zumbrunnen, an Austrian photographer with Galician roots, travels repeatedly through the Ukraine. The birth pangs of this new state, the incongruous mixture of brutally tasteless commercialization, backward Hutsul folklore, re-Sovietization and Habsburg nostalgia fascinates him.

The chaos of the transitional post-Socialist era seems to him infinitely more appealing than the boring life in the West – especially since falling in love with his interpreter Roma Woronytsch. He accompanies her on a hair-raising trip to the Carpathian mountains. We hear of the happenings in the solitude of the mountains, in the »inn on the moon«, a former observatory and subsequent sports hotel, where, in between movie makers, strippers, bodyguards and intellectuals, Bohdan-Ihor Antonytsch, the outlawed modernist Ukrainian poet is to be found in person; of how, in the end, Zumbrunnen meets his death and embarks on his wonderfully lyrically night flight over central Europe – Andruchowytsch relates all this so absorbingly, with so much wit and irony that it is only later that we understand why this postmodern folk novel from Ukraine is in fact about us and the West.


»Juri Andruchowytsch writes about his homeland in such a fascinating, cosmopolitan way that we are shocked by our own provinciality.« Ilma Rakusa, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Other publications

Kleines Lexikon intimer Städte/Small Encyclopedia of Intimate Cities (2016)

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France (Noir sur Blanc), Croatia (Fraktura)

Perversion/Perversion (2011)

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USA (Northwestern UP), Spain (Quaderns Crema/El Acantilado), France (Noir sur Blanc), Russia (NLO), Finland (Loki Kirjat), Poland (Czarne), Bulgaria (Paradox), Serbia (Clio)

Geheimnis/Secret (2008)

Rights available

Moscoviada/Moscoviada (2006)

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USA (Spuyten Duyvil), Spanish world rights (Quaderns Crema), Russia (New Literary Review), France (Noir sur Blanc), Italy (Besa Editrice), Poland (Czarne), Czech Republic (FRA), Slovak Republic (Kalligram), Hungary (Gondolat), Bulgaria (Paradox), Romania (Allfa), Macedonia (Makedonska Rech), Belarus (ARCHE), Georgia (Bakur Sulakauri)

Mein Europa/My Europe (2004)

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Spanish world rights (Quaderns Crema/El Acantilado), France (Noir sur Blanc), Italy (print edition Mimesis / digital edition GoWare), Poland (Wydawictwo Czarne), Czech Republic (Periplum), Hungary (Kijarat), Bulgaria (Lektura), Romania (Polirom), Croatia (Fraktura)

Das letzte Territorium/The Last Territory (2003)

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Spanish world rights (Quaderns Crema/El Acantilado), Hungary (Racio)