"This captivating and original narrative blends politics, history, and reportage in a street-level account of a vexing and troubled region. In the tradition of Elif Batuman and Ian Frazier, Black Square presents an evocative, multidimensional portrait of Ukrainian life under the shadow of Putin. In vivid, original prose, Sophie Pinkham draws us into the fascinating lives of her contemporaries--a generation that came of age after the fall of the USSR, only to see protestors shot on Kiev's main square, Maidan; Crimea annexed by Russia; and a bitter war in eastern Ukraine. Amid the rubble, Pinkham tells stories that convey a youth culture flourishing within a tragically corrupt state. We meet a charismatic, drug-addicted doctor helping to smooth the transition to democracy, a Bolano-esque art gallerist prone to public nudity, and a Russian Jewish clarinetist agitating for Ukrainian liberation. With a deep knowledge of Slavic literature and a keen, outsider's eye for the dark absurdity of post-Soviet society, Pinkham delivers an indelible impression of a country on the brink."--Provided by publisher.