The Witches of Kyiv and Other Gothic Tales:
In The Witches of Kyiv and Other Gothic Tales by Orest Somov the supernatural is present throughout Ukraine, from a cemetery in Kyivan Rus, to an isolated forest cottage in the seventeenth century Kozak era, to the society ballrooms of Somov’s own world – the early nineteenth century. Gothic horror appears in many guises including witches, warlocks, demons and vengeful ‘rusalka’. Strange soothsayers and malevolent visitors represent the forces of good and evil. In her foreword Dr Svitlana Krys describes Somov “as an initiator of an indigenous literary tradition of the Gothic in the Ukrainian literary canon”. Native folk traditions, ghost stories and European Romanticism are twisted together in Somov’s imaginative tales, most of which are published here in English for the first time.