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Astra House

Stalking the Atomic City: Life Among the Decadent and the Depraved of Chornobyl

Stalking the Atomic City: Life Among the Decadent and the Depraved of Chornobyl

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"His is a voice that must be heard." --Patti Smith

"A poetic rush to madness. . . a stunning, original voice as lyrical as it is unnerving.
--Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us and Countdown

In the shadow of catastrophe, Markiyan Kamysh writes with all of youth's wayward lyricism, like a nuclear Kerouac. --Rob Doyle, author of Threshold

A rare portrait of the dystopian reality of Chornobyl, Ukraine, as it was before the Russian occupation of 2022.

Since the nuclear disaster in April 1986, Chornobyl remains a toxic, forbidden wasteland. As with all dangerous places, it attracts a wild assortment of adventurers who feel called to climb over the barbed wire illegally and witness the aftermath for themselves. Breaking the law here is a pilgrimage: a defiant, sacred experience.

In Stalking the Atomic City, Kamysh tells us about thieves who hide in the abandoned buildings, the policemen who chase them, and the romantic utopists who have built families here, even as deadly toxic waste lingers in the buildings, playgrounds, and streams. The book is complete with stunning photographs that may well be the last images to capture Chornobyl's desolate beauty since occupying Russian forces started to loot and destroy the site in March 2022.

An extraordinary guide to this alien world many of us will never see, Kamysh's singular prose that is both brash and bold, compared to Kerouac and gonzo journalists, captures the understated elegance and timeless significance of this dystopian reality.

Author: Markiyan Kamysh
Publisher: Astra House
Published: 04/05/2022
Pages: 160
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.30lbs
Size: 7.20h x 5.30w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9781662601279

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 01/10/2022
Kirkus Reviews 01/15/2022
Shelf Awareness 04/05/2022

About the Author
Markiyan Kamysh was born in Kyiv in 1988, the son of a Chornobyl catastrophe liquidator. He was a history major in Taras Shevchenko National University, and has been an active researcher of Chornobyl Zone since 2010. He has walked more than 5,000 km within the Exclusion Zone and spent more than 200 days behind the barbed wire surrounding the site. See more photos on his Instagram @markiyankamysh.

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