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Diaries of War: Two Visual Accounts from Ukraine and Russia
by Nora Krug
Ten Speed Graphic
Publication Date: September 2023
128 pages
ISBN-13: ‎978-1984862440
Penguin Random House

Published in the following countries: USA/Ten Speed Graphic, UK/Penguin Particular Books, Germany/Penguin Verlag, Italy/Einaudi Editore, France/Gallimard BD, Brazil/Companhia Das Letras, Spain/Salamandra, Korea/Ellelit Editors

Powerful graphic journalism that highlights the contrasting realities of a Ukrainian journalist and a Russian artist grappling with their own individual experiences of Russia’s war on Ukraine – collected, edited, and illustrated by award-winning author Nora Krug.

Immediately after Russia began its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Nora Krug reached out to two anonymous subjects — “K.,” a Russia-born Ukrainian journalist, and “D.,” a Russian artist — and began what would become a year of correspondence. Based on her weekly interviews with K. and D., Krug created this collection of illustrated accounts that chronicles two viewpoints from opposite sides of the border throughout the first year in this ongoing war.

With millions displaced, injured or killed as a result of the invasion, Krug presents a look at the devastating effects on an everyday, individual level. Diaries of War doesn’t portray a quintessential Russian or Ukrainian perspective. It doesn’t aim to create a space for reconciliation, to equalize the Russian and Ukrainian experiences, or to tell the story of a “good Russian.” Rather, it documents the stark contrast between two narratives shaped by this war on opposite sides of the border. K.’s diary documents a year of emotional and existential distress. She experiences loss in every sense of the word: the death of those close to her, the disconnection from her family and friends, the devastation of her country—but her account is also a story about bravery and survival in the face of dire uncertainty.

In juxtaposition, D.’s narrative expresses his disdain for his government’s brutal actions and details his attempts at emigrating his family abroad. He navigates his own struggle with cultural identity, guilt and lack of action in the face of a tyrannical regime—a necessary perspective that challenges readers to confront the fallibility of their own moral integrity and the political actions of their own countries.

Published as an Op-Comic series with the Los Angeles Times, with a portion of the entries unique to this book, Diaries of War is a harrowing real-time record of an international conflict that continues to devastate countless lives.

Honors:

Society of Illustrators: Annual competition and exhibition
Best Books of the Month / Bestenliste April 2024 Die Welt
Best Books of the Month / Bestenliste April 2024 Neue Züricher Zeitung
Best Books of the Month / Bestenliste April 2024 Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg
Best Books of the Month / Bestenliste April 2024 Österreichischer Rundfunk

“This book will definitely make you think. The geography of Russian aggression is much wider than you might at first imagine. Russian aggression is not only bombs, rockets and millions of refugees. It is also a boomerang that hits the aggressor country itself in the most unexpected way. Nora Krug’s dual visual-textual narrative can emotionally drain the reader, but the reader is unlikely to ever forget this book.” – Andrey Kurkov, author of Grey Bees

“Diaries of War is a magnificent feat of witness. Nora Krug’s illustrated weekly interviews with a Ukrainian journalist and a Russian artist are so much more raw and intimate than a conventional news account, conveying the texture of daily life in wartime as well as the smaller tragedies that often don’t make the headlines. Instead of watching from a serene distance, you’re engaging with K and D. Your guard is down. The anguish and shock has gotten in. Read this remarkable book and grant them that act of solidarity.” – Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and The Secret to Superhuman Strength

“Nora Krug leads us through the first dark year of the war, in search for the roots of violence. Her collage of two unusual and contrasting diaries – one Ukrainian and one Russian – that are presented in parallel and combined with her intrinsic minimalist illustrations, create a document that enlightens and shocks in equal measure.” – Katja Petrowskaja, author of Maybe Esther

“As fascist imperialism—with Vladimir Putin as its rotting figurehead—commands attention on the world stage, those living underfoot must survive. Here are the personal accounts of two such survivors, living on either side of the Russo-Ukrainian War, illustrated with poetic grace by Nora Krug. A vital and empathetic document of human experience in terrible times.” – Jason Lutes, author of Berlin

“This powerfully conveys the chaos that war wreaks on civilians.” – Publishers Weekly

“A necessarily sorrowful but insightful view of a war whose horrors are ongoing.” – Kirkus Reviews 

“As in Belonging, with Diaries of War Krug incorporates her careful research and observation skills alongside attentive and thoughtful design and illustration to tell a multilayered story of the many emotional and psychic ravages of war.” – NPR

Nora Krug does an extraordinary work combining painful and complex storytelling with an unusual grace and elegance. She manages to involve us in looking at history from an intimate and very human point of view. There is tact, decency and wonder in her books.” – Igort, author of The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks

“If we did not know it before, Covid-19 has taught us that headlines and op-eds are insufficient to convey the grinding reality of an ongoing traumatic event. While our mass media engages in a sustained effort to forget, Nora Krug here reminds us. Illustrated by Krug’s gem-like miniatures, these dual accounts from Ukraine and Russia, rooted on either side of that deadly border, each express their own sustained senses of horror and anxiety during the first year of Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine. Russian artist D’s total alienation from the shocking acts of his own government will resonate with Americans for whom the Trump administration was only the most recent and egregious example of same. And under any President, we should seek voices like that of Ukrainian journalist K — testimony of those who have suffered under our own government’s consistently violent foreign policy. May this book be a model for many others to follow.” – Bill Kartalopoulos, Comics scholar and editor

“Growing up as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Hungary, being a victim of war was a fact of life. Diaries of War touches me very personally.” – Miriam Katin, author of We Are on Our Own, and Letting It Go

„‘Im Krieg‘ liefert genau das, was Nachrichten und Reportage nicht liefern können: eine emotionale Ebene. Nora Krug hat ein Buch geschaffen, das zutiefst berührt.“ – Denis Scheck

„Ein außergewöhnliches Zeitdokument.“ – Berliner Zeitung

„In Nora Krugs Zeichnungen spiegeln sich die ganzen Emotionen, Ängste, Sorgen, Hoffnungen dieser beiden Menschen. Ohne aufdringlich oder übergriffig zu werden, schafft sie sehr persönliche Innenansichten. Bemerkenswert unaufgeregt und zugleich sehr sensibel.“ – SWR2 Lesenswert, Silke Arning

„Ein lesenswerter Zeitzeugenbericht aus dem Alltag und dem Gefühlsleben dieser beiden Menschen, die auf den Krieg blicken. Mit Bildern, die in ihrer Komposition in Erinnerung bleiben und wie Puzzleteile fungieren von einem Krieg, dessen Endbild wir noch gar nicht kennen.“ – Deutschlandfunk Kultur Lesart

„Mit ‚Im Krieg‘ erweist sich die aus Karlsruhe stammende und in New York lebende Künstlerin ein weiteres Mal als sensible Betrachterin komplexer politisch-historischer Sachverhalte.“ – Tagesspiegel

„Nora Krug zeigt, was es heißt, im Krieg zu sein. […] Wer ihren Berichten folgt, begreift, wie fatal es wäre, [die Ukraine] im Stich zu lassen – und zu verraten.“  – BR Diwan

Publishers Weekly: Diaries of War

NPR: ‘Diaries of War’ traces two personal accounts — one from Ukraine, one from Russia

Kirkus Reviews: Diaries of War

It’s Nice That: Nora Krug illustrates the year-long experience of two individuals living through the Russia-Ukraine War

Creative Boom: Illustrator Nora Krug on depicting raw accounts of the war in Ukraine

YES! Magazine: Diaries of the War in Ukraine

Frankfurter Allgemeine: Widerstand ist sinnvoll

Berliner Zeitung: Ein doppeltes Tagebuch

Badische Neuste Nachrichten: Blick in das Tagebuch

SWR2: Wir können auch im Kleinen Widerstand leisten

HR: Leben und Überleben im Krieg

SWR 2: Chronik der Zerstörung

SWR Kultur: Im Krieg

SWR Kultur: Chronik der Zerstörung

WDR: Buchtipp mit Denis Scheck

Deutschlandfunk Kultur: Lesart

Bayrischer Rundfunk: Neues vom Buchmarkt

MDR Kultur: Die 3 der Woche

Tagesspiegel: Die zwei Seiten des Krieges

SRF: Ein eindringliches Dokument des Alltags im Ukraine-Krieg

3 Sat Kulturzeit: Kriegstagebücher

El Periódico de España: Diarios de guerra

Arte: Graphic Novel über den Ukraine-Krieg

3sat Kulturzeit: Nora Krugs Graphic Novel “Im Krieg”

ARD Druckfrisch: Nora Krug: “Im Krieg”

RBB Orte ohne Worte: Im Messetrubel mit Nora Krug

Deutsche Welle: Щоденники трагедії. Рік війни – очима українки та росіянина

NTV: Beklemmende Aufzeichnungen aus dem Ukraine-Krieg

Der Standard: Zwei Graphic Novels zeichnen die Invasion in die Ukraine nach

FAZ: Widerstand ist sinnvoll

Berliner Zeitung: Ein doppeltes Tagebuch: Der Krieg aus ukrainischer und russischer Sicht

Südwestrundfunk2 Lesen: Chronik der Zerstörung: Nora Krug illustriert ukrainische und russische Kriegstagebücher

SWR2 Zeitgenossen: Nora Krug: „Wir können auch im Kleinen Widerstand leisten“

SWR2 Buchkritik: Nora Krug – Im Krieg

DLF Kultur Lesart: „Im Krieg“ von Nora Krug

WDR2 Lesen: Im Krieg: Illustrierte Tagebücher aus der Ukraine und Russland

WDR5 Scala: Graphic Novel über den Ukraine-Krieg

Hessischer Rundfunk: Leben und Überleben im Krieg – damals und heute

Bayrischer Rundfunk Diwan: “Im Krieg”: Illustrierte Tagebücher aus der Ukraine und Russland

Radioeins Favorit Buch: “Im Krieg” von Nora Krug

RBB Literatur: Nora Krug “Im Krieg”

Saarländischer Rundfunk:“Es ging darum, diese Stimmen einzufangen”

Swiss SRF: Eine Ukrainerin und ein Russe führen Tagebuch hinter der Front

FM4: Augenzeug:innenberichte und Bilder vom Krieg in der Ukraine

ARD Audiothek: Leben und Überleben im Krieg – damals und heute

SWR2 Literatur: KI, Krieg und Kafka – Neue Bücher von Werner Herzog, Rüdiger Safranski, Nora Krug und Stefanie Sargnagel

SWR 2 Literatur: Chronik der Zerstörung: Nora Krug illustriert ukrainische und russische Kriegstagebücher