Ilya Kharkōw | IK

About author

author - Ilya Kharkōw

My name is Ilya Kharkōw

I'm a writer from Ukraine, but I don't want to be labeled as a Ukrainian writer. In Ukraine, I'm seen as a criminal because I’ve rejected military conscription. Until now, due to the forced mobilization great number of men in Ukraine are persecuted and humiliated while locked in the country.

Fortunately, I was able to escape and get refuge in Europe. The Ukrainian authorities' intentions to deport me. War supporters hate me. My native town is occupied by Russia. Every day I experience difficulties of emigration. But all this inspires me to write.

Every week, my anti-war essays are published on The Left Berlin portal in a column called The Mining Boy Notes.

The following are my primary literary works:

- "THE INTIMATE SMELL OF THE MARINE" (2019): A novel about a guy who studies his sexuality being locked in a flat with a dead body of his friend for 7 days.

- "THE MINING BOYS" (2022): A literary documentation of my escape from a war-torn country.

- "HOLES IN THE SHAPE OF HUMANS" (2023): This is post-war PTSD collection of short stories.

I don't hold any illusions that my work will miraculously turn everyone into a pacifist, eliminate homophobia, or prevent teenagers from committing suicide. While people kill each other in different parts of the world, I aim to create something beautiful, intimate, and precious — much like a cherished memory of the first ejaculation.