House to House: Voices from a Refugee Center in Odesa

by Oleg Suslov

“Until February 24, 2022, I had never written about the war. A journalist needs to have the specific vocabulary, terminology. Until this full-scale invasion, I did not have the terminology of war.” But these days, Oleg Suslov, the 58-year-old editor of the Odesa Evening News, is writing mostly about the war. “This September,” he says, “in the middle of the war, my daughter will give birth…Explosions woke me at 5 a.m. My daughter calls. Dad, what is this? My daughter has three children and at this moment she is pregnant with her fourth.” “That is how I remember it,” Oleg […]

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Recognizing the Cadences: Alexander Maksik’s ‘A Marker to Measure Drift’


Alexander Maksik’s second novel, A Marker to Measure Drift  (Knopf; 222 pages), boldly repudiates the old chestnut that a writer must write what he or she knows. Jacqueline, Maksik’s protagonist, is a young woman from one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Liberia— and now a refugee who has fled to the Greek islands in the aftermath of Liberia’s second civil war. As an undocumented immigrant, Jacqueline ekes out a painful existence on Santorini’s tourist-filled beaches. The novel’s opening thrusts us directly into Jacqueline’s narrowed existence—there is no backstory granted us (yet), only the immediacy of Jacqueline’s hunger […]

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