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In Memoriam: Victoria Amelina (1986-2023)
July 3, 2023

We are deeply saddened by the news that Victoria Amelina, the incoming 2023-24 Harriman Resident at Reid Hall, died on July 1 from injuries sustained as a result of the Russian shelling of a restaurant in Kramatorsk, where she was dining with a group of Colombian writers and journalists. We extend our sympathies to her family and friends, as well as colleagues in Ukraine and throughout the world.

Amelina was a Ukrainian novelist, essayist, poet, and human rights activist. She won the Joseph Conrad Literature Prize for her prose works, including the novels Dom’s Dream Kingdom and Fall Syndrome, and was a finalist for the European Union Prize for Literature and the UN Women in Arts Award. She was a founder of the New York Literature Festival, which took place in a village called New York in the Bakhmut area, in the Donetsk region. Since 2022, Amelina collaborated with Ukrainian NGOs, including Truth Hounds and the Center for Civil Liberties, to document war crimes and advocate for accountability for the international crimes committed in Ukraine. She was working on a non-fiction project, Looking at Women Looking at War: War and Justice Diary.

Read the statements by PEN Ukraine and PEN America.

Read tributes to Amelina in the New York Times and the Guardian.