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ABOUT the author
Kalani Pickhart is the author of the historical novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land, which has received praise from CBS News, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, and more. The novel is long-listed for the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award, and was named one of the New York Public Library's "Best Books for Adults" of 2021. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, TriQuarterly Review, and elsewhere. Kalani was selected as an inaugural 2022 New Voices Literary Fellow for the Sun Valley Writers' Conference and has been the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia G. Piper Center and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Intelligence for Eastern European and Eurasian Studies. Kalani currently lives and writes in Phoenix, Arizona.
Find out more here: kalanipickhart.com
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I Will Die in a Foreign Land
"I tore through I Will Die in a Foreign Land. It’s terrific... nothing has given me such a profound impression of what Ukrainians have endured as this intensely moving novel."
—Ron Charles, Washington Post
New Lines Podcast interview with Kalani Pickhart | March 11, 2022
"Writing a Revolution: Ukraine’s Maidan Uprising — with Kalani Pickhart"
"Eight years before the recent Russian invasion, a popular uprising in Kyiv overthrew the old Moscow-backed government in favor of moving toward the European Union—an act for which Russia has been punishing Ukraine ever since. It is those events that inspired Kalani Pickhart’s recent novel, I Will Die in a Foreign Land. Hailed as one of the best books of 2021, it has found renewed relevance in the aftermath of the invasion. In this podcast, she joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to discuss what first drew her to the story, the relationship between fiction and journalism, and how the long history of Russian aggression against Ukraine led to the current crisis."
The Show on KJZZ | 2/9/2022
'I Will Die in a Foreign Land': Novel offers insight into Ukrainians' struggle against Russia
Steve Goldstein, host of KJZZ's The Show, spoke with author Kalani Pickhart about her recently published novel focused on what Ukrainian protesters experienced in the previous decade, I Will Die in a Foreign Land.
Burned By Books podcast: An interview with Kalani Pickhart | 12/31/2021
From host Chris Holmes — "Russia is again amassing troops on the Ukrainian border. There are threats of more sanctions from the US and the EU, but those come with a tacit understanding that there is likely little that the world can do to stop Putin should he decide to invade. It is within this frightening context that Kalani Pickhart’s extraordinary novel, I Will Die in a Foreign Land, enters the scene. The novel itself is a beautiful pastiche of forms: novelistic plots mix with songs and folktales, manifests of passengers killed in downed planes or in the melee of protest, diaries and recordings, all working to build a feeling, the urge for a democratic voice to speak against violence and despair. Kalani and I discuss the burden of writing true in a work of fiction, and so much more!"
First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing podcast | 11/15/2021
Host Mitzi Rapkin and Kalani Pickhart in conversation about writing the complexities of the 2013 Ukrainian Protests in Pickhart debut novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land.
Read parts of the interview here on LitHub.
Cleveland Review of Books interview with Kalani Pickhart | April 30, 2022
Amy Gustine spoke with the author of I Will Die in a Foreign Land:
"Pickhart knew that most English-speaking readers wouldn’t be familiar with the Russian and Ukrainian history necessary to understand the characters... On top of this, she would have to find a way to juggle three different time periods. I recently had an opportunity to speak to Pickhart about how she accomplished this incredible feat. Her approach demonstrates that sometimes brevity is the secret to breadth..."
BookBrowse interview with Kalani Pickhart | March 2022
Callum McLaughlin, for BookBrowse, spoke with author Kalani Pickhart about the research and writing process that went into her debut historical novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land, about Ukraine.
ASU News interview with Kalani Pickhart | 3/3/2022
Kalani Pickhart spoke with ASU News about the inspiration behind her novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land and how it came about, the research and travel that went into writing the book, how she decided to weave in the famous history and effects of Chernobyl into the story, and more.
Hayden’s Ferry Review interview with Kalani Pickhart | 11/16/2021
"From Web Editor Christina D’Antoni: On October 20th , I interviewed Kalani at her book launch at Changing Hands Bookstore for I Will Die In a Foreign Land—her debut novel. We talked a lot about the structure of her book, displacement, grief, and the contextualization of both historical and personal tragedies. What follows are the questions I didn’t ask—questions that felt like “deep cuts,”—too specific to my writerly interests, or too narrow for an in-person audience. I hope you’ll devour her responses like I did, when they popped up weeks after the event in my inbox."
The Los Angeles Review of Books interview with author Kalani Pickhart | 11/13/2021
Sonya Bilocerkowycz (author of On Our Way Home from the Revolution) speaks with author Kalani Pickhart about her debut novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land, what first drew her to the topic of the Ukrainian protests against the Russian government in 2013, the ethics of fictionalizing events of an ongoing foreign conflict, the sections narrated by Kobzari, a chorus of roving bards who recount aspects of Ukrainian history through song, and so much more.
Electric Literature interview with author Kalani Pickhart | 10/19/2021
Author Katya Apekina (The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish) speaks with author Kalani Pickhart about her debut novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land, the inspiration to write about the political situation in Ukraine, the impossible desire for a home that doesn’t exist, the Kobzari folk singing tradition that inspired her, how she navigated writing about recent traumatic historical events, and so much more.
Chicago Review of Books interview with author Kalani Pickhart | 10/21/2021
Aram Mrjoian speaks with Kalani Pickhart about her debut book I Will Die in a Foreign Land: the origins of the story, the process of writing such a structurally complex novel, how The Odyssey inspired her, about the history of Ukraine (not "the Ukraine"), and so much more.
City Lights: 5 Questions with Kalani Pickhart | 11/22/2021
Before discussing her new book, I Will Die in a Foreign Land, with Maria Kuznetsova for the City Lights LIVE! virtual event series (Monday, November 22, 2021), Kalani Pickhart answered 5 questions from City Lights, ranging from what inspired her to write the novel to what her future bookstore will be named.