I’m immensely grateful to all of you for your support and kind words about my book The Rooster House. I’ve received many warm letters and emails from my readers around the world. As the book appeared in different languages (17 so far), I traveled and met many of you in person. This year has been heartbreaking in so many respects and there are many days when my faith in humanity falters, but whenever I read your comments and notes, I feel an instant boost. The sense of community that I feel with my readers is a precious gift.
Another wonderful honor is that The Rooster House was selected among Best Books of 2023 by Kirkus Reviews, Express, Waterstones. This recognition is important to me personally and a Ukrainian-American author. Ukraine is the place where I was born. It shaped me as an individual and it continues to inspire me. While its situation remains tragic, I will continue to live with pain and anxiety, but I also know from the experience I recount in my book that we must look for sources of resilience within us.
My 2024 projects continue to revolve around Ukraine, participating in various fundraising and community projects, but I’m also devoting more time to scents and olfaction. Since fall 2023, I have been teaching at ISIPCA. I have also resumed my online perfume classes and seminars. It feels wonderful to immerse myself into the world of aromas, the universe that I still find as captivating as I did almost two decades ago when I first started Bois de Jasmin.
Finally, I’m grateful to the reviewers and literary critics for their praise for The Rooster House. Some of their words are below.
Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk The Rooster House is so many things at once, and all of them pull at my heart. The book is a seriously beautiful evocation of an imperilled nation and an account of a personal quest to retrieve the memories and secrets that families and states maintain. It’s a careful meditation on exile, on return and belonging, and what it means to be. And most of all it’s a paean to hope and home, written with such gentleness and deep adherence to emotional truth that to me its words become a fierceness to cast against harm, hardship and hurt. I loved it and it will haunt me for a long time.
Bookseller, Caroline Sanderson A Wild Swans for Ukraine … an enthralling, multilayered family story, told across four generations. Rich and magnificent. A marvel
Times Literary Supplement Ethereal and transporting … Ukraine comes alive through a tapestry of multisensory descriptions. Barbed by pain, this is a book as poignant as it is timely … it reflects the indestructible strength of the Ukrainian people, who so fiercely hold on to hope
New European A beautifully written evocation of the Ukrainian people through the prism of four generations of one family, but it is also a celebration of Ukrainian women… evokes a Ukraine beyond the rubble-strewn images we see on the television news… a truly redemptive book, strangely joyful even, one that makes the tragedy of the Russian invasion personal