Andriy Lyubka: “Writers from Transcarpathia are lucky: they do not have to invent anything – life itself gives them stories”

In the hometown of Vynogradiv, 28-year-old Andriy Lyubka presented his new novel "Carbide". At the meeting, visitors could buy a book and receive an autograph of the young writer. The first presentation of "Carbide" was held on August 24 in Prague. And now, our countryman is in his childhood home with a new book and as a mature writer.  The young writer said that every city of Transcarpathia, almost every mayor and everyone, who has ever been involved in smuggling, see themselves in his novel. But all persons in it are fictitious. At the meeting, the author briefly told the plot of the book, of course, leaving out the intrigue, thus encouraging to buy and read a new novel.   There was also a free communication of the author with the readers in the Q&A format, we learned a strange fact from our titled countryman: 

 – When I receive from publishers quarterly reports of sales, I see that Transcarpathia buys my books less. The situation with reading here is very poor. There are few bookstores, literary life, public communication and intellectual debates. 

 It was nice to see in the room the young writer’s support group: family and musician friends.

Maria Lyubka-Hal, mother: "Andriy started to read very early – when he was 5. His grandmother instilled in him the love of literature. Around the 8th grade, he started writing poetry – I still keep that notebook at home. They are quite different from those that Andriy writes today. I remember when the first collection was published, I was shocked – I did not like, did not expect poems of such format. And then they were just getting better!    My favorite poem is "You’ll wake up in the morning."

Ivan Sojka, godfather: "At school, he also stood out. He wrote an essay "Feather", more than a dozen pages, almost whole notebook. There was a full story and the student essay was more like a literary work.  I am pleased that my godson is known almost all over Europe. Today’s presentation in his hometown is very important, because it is more difficult at home: everyone knows you since childhood and all the people recognize you. Now I can say for sure that he has outgrown his adolescence and become a mature author and this first novel is very different from previous works – bold and unconventional.

 Victor Yantso, the band "Rock H": When our band just started, my wife Irina said that Andriy Lyubka follows us. And later, when I got acquainted with his works, I was so pleased that such a person appreciates us that I wanted to meet in person. And we had a chance: we were in Poland, and he came to the festival specifically to listen to "Rock H."  After that, our creative collaboration began. We made a video for the song "To my dear one" and now meet at events whenever we can. 

 Everything was great at the presentation of the new novel by Andriy Lyubka "Carbide" in his hometown of Vynogradiv. Flowers from fans, autographs.  But… no representatives of the district department of culture in the room.

 At the end of the meeting, the young writer gave us a short interview:

– I will not be original. Why "Carbide"?

– Because the protagonist is called Carbide. In fact, he is a local school history teacher. His name is Mykhailo Oleksiyovich, but children gave him this nickname because he smells like calcium carbide.

– The release of the book was preceded by the Mukachevo incident…

The incident, which took place in a peaceful region, of course, was a shock for me. Perhaps, this skirmish was a good harbinger for the book, because everyone became interested in smuggling and here it is: a book about it is released. Perhaps this incident will help in promoting the book to the reader. On the other hand, I am pleased that I, as a writer, managed to catch the zeitgeist. I started writing the novel two years ago and already then I thought that this topic was interesting and these characters are really worth to be written about, because they are colorful people and therefore they can be certain symbol of Transcarpathia and Ukraine as a whole, as well as Eastern Europe in general.

                – The first presentation of "Carbide" was held in the Czech Republic, now at home. What are your impressions of Prague and the hometown?

                – I have never done presentations here, so I wanted to present the novel in Vynogradiv and I thought that "Carbide" is a good occasion, and the theme of smuggling is close to my hometown. The city of Vedmediv, where the novel is set, to some extent is based on Vynogradiv.

                – Have you already become a cosmopolitan?

                – I do not know if you are puttting any negative connotations in the word… Yes, I have long been a cosmopolitan. But this is my life: many presentations, travelling, participation in festivals, discussions. Soon I am going abroad for writers’ residence – in October I will be in Sweden.  I will shut myself off, switch off the phone and will be writing a new book there. I never set educational goals for myself: I started writing and continue doing it for my own pleasure.  I write primarily for myself, and then all that becomes books.




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