First Language(s): Ukrainian
Second Language(s): English
Viktoriia Grivina is a writer and cultural researcher from Kharkiv, Ukraine. She writes personalized essays and short stories and is now working on a series of humorous stop-motion animations, Kharkiv Legends.
Her current PhD study at St Andrews University is dedicated to the mythological and aesthetic transformations of public spaces in Ukraine in the times of war.
What was your favorite book as a child?
When I was a kid, my absolute favoгrite was the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren. I loved the idea of Pippi’s complete freedom of imagination, as well as her call to wear whatever you want. In a way she had a very Ukrainian-like sense of independence.
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
When I was about 8, I read The Magic Shop by H. G. Wells. I decided it was somehow unfinished and needed a continuation, which I wrote, sticking the paper between the pages of the book. It is how my writing started. I went on to make up fairy tales at school, which were to be read loudly at home in front of the TV as my parents would have their dinner. Writing always helped me understand the world and reach out to the people I care about.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
I once played hide-and-seek at midnight in a medieval castle of Miklosh in Transcarpathia, Ukraine. We played in a company of twenty. Two people were provided with a small candle and a task to find everyone before the candle burnt out. The only person we didn’t find then was the castle director’s 17-year-old son who walked out some two hours later, emerging from a spot he never revealed.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
I can’t listen to music while reading. I find it distracting for some reason. On the other hand, I love writing in cafes with the background noise, music, coffee machines, etc. I’m used to writing on trains and airports, in all sorts of uncomfortable places with the noises ranging from a tractor to Beethoven’s symphony.
My Azov Sea
Issue Fall '22