Stalking the atomic city Life among the decadent and the depraved of Chornobyl

Markii︠a︡n Kamysh

Book - 2022

"Since the Chornobyl nuclear disaster in April 1986, the area still remains a toxic, forbidden wasteland. But as with all dangerous places, it attracts a wild assortment of adventurers who climb over the barbed wire in the middle of the night to witness the aftermath of catastrophe in the flesh. Markiyan Kamysh, whose father worked as an on-site disaster liquidator of Chornobyl, works as a "stalker," guiding people who dare to venture illegally into the disaster area for thrills. ...By turns lyrical and confessional, Stalking the Atomic City unveils the state of the site today and the unusual communities that have found a home in the desolate place known as the Exclusion Zone. Kamysh tells us about criminals who hide in the abandoned buildings, the policemen who chase them, and romantic utopists who have built families here, even as deadly toxic waste lingers in the buildings, playgrounds, and streams. An extraordinary guide to this alien world, Kamysh has unique access and expertise as well as a deep personal connection to this dystopian reality. Complete with stunning photographs by the author, Stalking the Atomic City is a haunting account of what total autonomy could mean in our growingly fractured world"--

Saved in:

2nd Floor New Shelf Show me where

947.77/Kamysh
0 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 947.77/Kamysh (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 15, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : Astra House [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Ukrainian
Item Description
"Originally published in Ukranian as A Stroll in the Zone, Nora-Druk Publishers ©2015."
Physical Description
139 pages : illustrations, map ; 19 cm
ISBN
9781662601279
1662601271
Main Author
Markii︠a︡n Kamysh (author)
Other Authors
Hanna Leliv (translator), Reilly Costigan-Humes
  • The downpour
  • Hot, tan, and naked winter
  • A New Year's Eve fairy tale
  • Campari
  • Polissya zen
  • Hello zone! Farewell forever!
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Ukrainian novelist Kamysh makes his English-language debut with this evocative portrait of Chornobyl's Exclusion Zone, the 1,000-square-mile site of the 1986 nuclear disaster, and the "illegal tourists" who explore it for days and weeks at a time. Mixing travelogue and reportage, Kamysh, whose father helped clear the site of contaminated debris, finds a stark metaphor for post-Soviet depravity in the derelict world he explores. He describes hiking 20 miles through waist-deep snow to climb 500-foot radar antennae; sleeping in an abandoned building near the rotting corpse of a wolf; being ambushed by police; and his "radiation fetishism" for contaminated graphite rods and "still glowing" liquidator's helmets. He also makes bitter fun of "rich girls" who map "every nook of the terra incognita on Instagram" and foreigners who dress for January snowdrifts "in proper autumn camo with anti-mosquito mesh," and draws vivid character sketches of squatters and looters such as Kolia America, who races around at night on a scooter looking for scrap metal. Though some of Kamysh's stylistic mannerisms grate, he captures the zone's strange mix of beauty and bleakness with precision. It's a captivating study of "the most exotic place on Earth." Photos. (Apr.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Stalking the Atomic City is a rare portrait of the dystopian reality that is Chornobyl. Focusing on the site as it is today, Markiyan Kamysh introduces us to the marginalized people who call the Exclusion Zone their home, providing a haunting account ofwhat total autonomy could mean in our growingly fractured world."--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

“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 ThresholdA 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.