Posted on March 15, 2022 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Little did the authors of two March releases know how timely their books would feel.

Marie Yovanovitch, a former US ambassador to Ukraine, is releasing the memoir Lessons from the Edge next week, while Yevgenia Belorusets's short story collection Lucky Breaks, first published in 2018, came out in English on March 1.

It's obvious why Yovanovitch's memoir feels so relevant, but NPR's reviewer emphasizes how it also dives into "the post-Soviet Union politics of Russia and Ukraine" and the sometimes mysterious work of foreign service officers.

You can also hear from Yovanovitch herself in a Fresh Air interview about her book and what she thinks it can tell us in our current situation.

As for Belorusets's collection, its relevance comes from its original inspiration: Russia's 2014 attacks on Ukraine.

The stories in it, just three pages or less, provide sketches of women struggling to make sense of that reality.

NPR was unable to speak with Belorusets in time for the segment, but translator Eugene Ostashevsky shared some insights into the work.

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