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An Evening With Maria Reva

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Upstart & Crow Studio


Join us on Thursday, May 23 at 6 p.m. for the first event of the Ukrainian Voices Series — an evening conversation with Maria Reva, author of the novel, Good Citizens Need Not Fear, nominated for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in 2020. Reva will be in conversation with Alina Senchenko, an artist and curator.

Clever and perfectly biting, Good Citizens depicts the absurdity of life in Ukraine under the Soviet regime as well as the time following its collapse. It chronicles the lives of several unforgettable characters, all residents of the same apartment building who face different challenging circumstances.

This conversation will delve into Reva’s inspirations for the book and the joys and challenges of writing about one’s birthplace from afar. We will also discuss Reva’s past and future works, the impact of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and the future of Ukrainian literature in the diaspora.

This event is free, but please reserve your spot here as capacity is limited.

The event is part of Senchenko’s Ukrainian Day programming, in partnership with the Maple Hope Foundation, a Canadian not-for-profit organization committed to helping people suffering from the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Voices Series features presentations and discussions of the works of modern Ukrainian writers.

About the author:

Maria Reva writes fiction and opera libretti. She is the author of Good Citizens Need Not Fear (Doubleday, Virago, and Knopf Canada New Face of Fiction, 2020), set in an apartment block in Ukraine. In November 2022, she was included on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s list of sanctioned Canadian citizens who are forbidden from entering Russia.

Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, The Wall Street Journal, Granta, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. She won a National Magazine Award in 2019 and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust of Canada 2020 Fiction Prize.

Her musical collaborations include a script for City Opera Vancouver (“Lost Operas of Mozart,” 2016) as well as two operas with composer Anna Pidgorna (“Our Trudy,” commissioned and premiered by Ad Astra Music Festival in Russell, Kansas, as well as “Plaything,” developed by Musique 3 Femmes, premiered in Berlin at the ufaFabrik in Fall 2022).

Reva was born in Ukraine and grew up in New Westminster, B.C. She received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas.

About the curator:

Alina Senchenko is a Ukrainian artist and curator living and working in Vancouver on the unceded land of Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and the Squamish peoples. With photography as the foundation of her practice, she seeks to explore the complexity of her immigrant identity, belonging and displacement within her own experience and globally. Recently, she has developed an interest in film and video work.

Senchenko has exhibited locally and internationally: at 560 Gallery (Vancouver) in 2023, Canton Sardine in 2022 (Vancouver), CSA Space in 2019 (Vancouver), Art Platform in 2018 (Ukraine), Dynamo Art Association in 2017, PLAZA Projects 2016, Print Ready VII 2016, Project Space 2015, Vancouver Art/Book Fair 2015, Access Gallery 2014, and Square Project 2014 (Vancouver). In 2021, she curated the Solidarity Print Sale exhibition and fundraiser as well as Ukrainian Days, which included the film series “Witnessing Change: Ukrainian Cinema at the Time of Turmoil” in 2023 at The Cinematheque and Her Presence (Womanhood in Ukraine) exhibition in 2024 at CSA space.

More about Upstart & Crow:

Located on Granville Island, Upstart & Crow is a literary arts studio for curious readers and creative storytellers alike. We are international in our outlook, and local in our sensibilities. We create opportunities to surface new talent and champion bold ideas through events, workshops, literary launches, unique partnerships — and yes, we also sell books!

Health precautions:

We want this event to be fun and safe. Masks are welcome, though we won’t enforce them. We hope that folks who come will be vaccinated and boosted and will stay home if they feel ill.


The main studio of our shop is accessible for folks with mobility aids. There is a washroom on the main floor available for attendees.

Questions: hello@upstartandcrow.com.

Maria Reva

Maria Reva was born in Ukraine and grew up in Vancouver, B.C. She has an MFA in fiction from the Michener Center at the University of Texas. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories (2017 and 2019), McSweeny’s and Granta. She currently lives in Austin, Texas, and also works as an opera librettist.

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