On The Train To Kharkiv

Eating cheerfully with Serhii, in the darkness.

Hugh Barnes, who taught me so much about writing, sent links to a couple of stories he has written from the conflict in Ukraine. They’re available to read in the London Review of Books.

I was particularly grabbed by the scene he created in one of the stories, in which he shared food cheerfully in darkness with a Ukrainian man called Serhii. I found myself moved to draw it.

I sent the drawing to Hughie, who is on his way home right now (“quite smelly,” he says, after three weeks). He sent me a photo of the actual Serhii, whose top was so much more colourful than the one I imagined.

You can read the story here: lrb.co.uk/in-kharkiv