From Chernobyl with Love: Reporting from the Ruins of the Soviet Union


Product Details

$29.95  $27.85
Potomac Books
Publish Date
11.5 X 5.4 X 1.1 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Katya Cengel is a freelance writer based in San Luis Obispo, California, and lectures in the Journalism Department of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Her work has appeared in New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. She is the author of Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back (Potomac Books, 2023) and Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life (Nebraska, 2012).


"Cengel demonstrates a knack for finding compelling stories, including an on-the-ground report from Chernobyl at a time when engineers were still working to cap off the reactor with a cement sarcophagus. . . . The author has a fine eye for the details of newsroom politics back when newspapers were read and newsrooms were packed with offbeat characters. Sometimes gonzo, sometimes hard-charging--a welcome report from the front lines in a time of torment and hope."--Kirkus Reviews
"Cengel ably captures a complicated region in which citizens make do with few resources, where phones are tapped and many workers aren't paid, and where the people encountered sometimes seek bribes, are pessimistic, or are drunk. Cengel's language is precise, and her historical context invites readers in, regardless of their knowledge of former USSR countries. Big risks and moments of gravity make From Chernobyl with Love both human and heroic--a satisfying and gutsy memoir."--Meredith Grahl Counts, Foreword Reviews
"Katya Cengel's account of life in post-Soviet Eastern Europe is a joy to read: lively, informative, and hair-raising in equal measure."--Vesna Goldsworthy, author of the international best seller Chernobyl Strawberries
-- (2/23/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"Katya Cengel writes with a rare honesty. Her narrative voice is both plucky and vulnerable, a combination that allows readers to feel her excitement, fear, and hope as a young American reporting from the former Soviet Union."--Peter Nichols, best-selling author of The Rocks and A Voyage for Madmen
-- (2/23/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"Katya Cengel's From Chernobyl with Love is a charming, bittersweet story of young love and journalism. She deftly captures the chaotic environment, first in Latvia, then in Ukraine, as the newly independent countries struggle to find their footing."--Karol Nielsen, author of Walking A & P: A Vietnam War Memoir and Black Elephants: A Memoir
-- (2/23/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"Not too many young journalists would ditch the beaches of California for the cold, corruption, and chaos of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But Katya Cengel is no ordinary scribe. In her witty, insightful, and heartfelt memoir, From Chernobyl with Love, Cengel uncovers it all, from Latvian Nazis to Ukrainian uprisings to finding love in the land of nuclear disaster. From Chernobyl with Love is a rewarding blend of candid experiences and expert reporting from an important yet enigmatic part of the world."--Franz Wisner, New York Times best-selling author of Honeymoon with My Brother

-- (2/23/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"Cengel is a brave and beguiling guide through stories and countries often ignored by the West, writing with passion about the people of Latvia and Ukraine and the trauma etched on their psyches by oppressive governments, corruption, starvation, and nuclear disaster."--Jennifer Steil, author of The Woman Who Fell from the Sky: An American Woman's Adventures in the Oldest City on Earth-- (2/23/2019 12:00:00 AM)