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Reviews & Endorsements

“To fall in love with Melnyczuk’s voice is no trouble at all.” 

  —Alida Becker, The New York Times Book Review

Melnyczuk’s hallucinatory tale achieves something of the fierce, distracting power of D.H. Lawrence’s nerve-grating masterpiece, Women in Love.” 


Askold Melnyczuk

“Artistic gold….Melnyczuk is an able analyst of character and a superb storyteller.”

 —Dan Cryer, Newsday

“Here’s another American Immigration Story, an exquisite, original one…”

 —Carolyn See, The Washington Post

“A very powerful and disturbing novel.”

 —Library Journal

Luminous and haunting.”

 —Publisher’s Weekly

“A novel so precise and understated, it’s stunning.”


“Magnificent in scope…His blend of myth and realism, punctuated with violence and comedy, recalls Garcia Marquez.”

—Philip Patrick, The Boston Globe

“A triumph of style and storytelling….Melnyczuk has brought the great tradition of Russian literature to American soil in a transplant that is a work of art.”

—Scott Morris, The LA Times

“Despite its modest page count, this is a big novel. It’s about identity—personal, political, and tribal. It’s about fathers and sons and mothers and sons. It’s about love, war, duty, honor, betrayal, history, and politics—and the perils of each. Melnyczuk is a writer of great power, lyricism, and assurance, and he has created a large cast of compellingly complex characters, as well as vivid portraits of London, Vienna, and Ukraine. Hard to put down and harder to forget.”

—Thomas Gaughan, Starred Review,Booklist

“…a small gem of a novel that’s filled with more crucial questions about the meaning of history than a hundred textbooks.”

The Boston Globe

“…a tale that has all the richness of Doctor Zhivago meeting The Odessa Files.”

—Geeta Jensen, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“…nearly perfect prose…almost endlessly quotable.”

—Dan Zigmond, Tricycle

“dramatic storytelling at its finest”

 —Chicago Timeout

“Smart, complex stories… that never fail to hold the reader’s interest.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Within the first few pages of Askold Melnyczuk’s fifth book-length work of fiction, The Man Who Would Not Bow, you understand you’re in for some sophisticated narrative. What you learn as you continue through these eight stories, however, is that this sophistication isn’t achieved through ostentatious or experimental language and craft—the stories are firmly in the Realist tradition—but rather from how intelligently Melnyczuk handles the narrative material.”

—Matthew Krajniak, Consequence Magazine

 “Brisk, lyrical writing and a winning narrator make The House of Widows irresistible.”

—Jhumpa Lahiri

“A marvelous novel and proof once again that the novel is not dead wherever it has work—meaningful work—to do.”

—Chinua Achebe

“A beautiful book. I just read it and read it and read it and there I was—alone.”

—Grace Paley

“A great novel of unresentful sorrow and half-requited loss.”

—Seamus Heaney

“Every so often a novel surpasses all expectations and fills us with the freshness of origins….Askold Melnyczuk is a startlingly inventive stylist—he gets the eyes gulping and the finger tips fidgeting at the edge of the page.”

—Sven Birkerts

“What is told is Myth and History and Lust…Melnyczuk’s writing sings pictures.  They are extraordinary adventures in themselves.”

—Leonard Michaels

“Fresh and stunning.”

—Barry Hannah

“An extraordinary novel, passionately and intelligently written.  Askold Melnyczuk has brought to light the flip side of the American dream shaded by the dark loneliness of the human heart.”

—Ha Jin

“A dazzling novel.”

—Howard Zinn

“Jonathan Wainwright is the lambent essence of today’s adolescence, with its perennial urges and aches, naïve confusions and hypersensitive hypocrisy detectors, rendered in astonishingly vivid, funny, soulful, and inventive prose.  A book in which every adult will exult.”

—George Scialabba

Nothing is more physical than laughter, and there are plenty of laughs in Askold Melnyczuk’s new novel, Smedley’s Secret Guide to World Literature—a work of true comedic genius. If you can imagine Roberto Bolañomeeting up with J.D. Salinger, then you have an inkling of how original and funny and sheerly strange this book is. No one writes better or more entertaining sentences than Melnyczuk, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Smedley ends up being a cult classic.

—Tom Sleigh, Poetry Magazine