Maryna Hrymytsch was born in Kyiv in 1961. The trained philologist, who completed a doctorate in the field of literature, directed various higher learning institutions in Ukraine and taught at the Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv as well as at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) during a research stay from 2007 to 2010. Following this, she was head of department at the Research Institute for Ukrainian Studies of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine until 2016. She started her career as a translator of Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Macedonian when she was a student. At that time, her first poems appeared in the magazines »Dnipro« and »Zhovten«. Since 2000, she has published seventeen novels, one novella, one non-fiction book, and three translations, as well as journalistic texts and literary criticism. »I may not be a brilliant writer, but I believe I’ve mastered my craft. It’s important what you write, but also how you write. […] I’m driven by an altruistic goal: I want people to read Ukrainian. To do that you have to write interesting books.« When writing her books, Hrymytsch often uses historical figures or themes as hooks and provides a humorous take on contemporary Ukraine, with the aim of reaching a broad readership. In »Warfolomijewa nic« (2002; tr: Bartholomew’s Night) she examines local elections in a post-Soviet country, portraying a corrupt candidate’s thirst for power and intrigue. Aside from political novels, Hrymytsch also writes feminist literature. Her observations and insights from ethnological expeditions also have a major influence on her literary work.
Hrymytsch has also written five monographs, two textbooks, and over two hundred scientific and popular articles on scientific topics. In 2004, Hrymytsch founded the publishing house »Dulibi«, which specializes in modern Ukrainian literature and scientific work in ethnology and was recognized by the Book Forum Lviv in 2004 and 2005. The publisher’s books are regularly shortlisted for the best books of the year. Hrymytsch also founded a Ukrainian school for applied anthropology.
For her literary works, Hrymytsch won first prize in the literary competition »Koronacija slowa«, among other prizes. She is a member of the Ukrainian Writers’ Association and the National Association for the Regional History of Ukraine. She has also been a member of the Canadian Union of Ethnology since 2007.
Maryna Hrymytsch lives in Kyiv.