In the spring of , Mohamed Makhzangi was living in Kiev, an Egyptian doctor studying in the Ukraine As a result, he like thousands of others found himself living a nuclear nightmare when the Chernobyl plant had a catastrophic meltdown Despite numerous fail safe protections, human error sent massive quantities of deadly radiation into the serene spring of the Soviet sky In superbly crafted prose, Memories of a Meltdown describes the days that followed from Makhzangi s dual perspective, as both an outsider and a victim Described by the author as an anti memoir, this assemblage of impressions in the aftermath of the meltdown offers a searing account of factual events distilled through the filter of literature Blending the realism of journalism with the emotional resonance of fiction, Makhzangi conveys the quiet but steadily mounting atmosphere of fear and panic, the dubious reliability of official statements, and an overall loss of the sense of safety, of anything ever being right with the world again From the balding colleague who is concerned only about whether his hair will fall out, to a grandfather, fetching his young grandson a drink, who believes that there is less contamination in hot tap water than cool, Makhzangi portrays people unwilling or unable to believe in the magnitude of the disaster unfolding around them In the finest tradition of literary reportage, Makhzangi masterfully conveys here the loneliness of exile, the urgency of a great tragedy, and the intimacy of personal experience


10 thoughts on “Memories of a Meltdown: An Egyptian Between Moscow and Chernobyl

  1. Manno Manno says:

    Inconsistent, but rather brilliant and poetic at places My favourite two pieces from the book are No in Russian which is about how living abroad can sometimes feel like exile, and Dress of Doves, Shawl of Doves which is rather short but is so artistic and poignant, it should be made into a painting Honestly, some parts were slightly too political for someone who has no knowledge of history when it comes to Russia and Poland, so I missed out a bit on that But it s an interesting quick read, Inconsistent, but rather brilliant and poetic at places My favourite two pieces from the book are No in Russian which is about how living abroad can sometimes feel like exile, and Dress of Doves, Shawl of Doves which is rather short but is so artistic and poignant, it should be made into a painting Honestly, some parts were slightly too political for someone who has no knowledge of history when it comes to Russia and Poland, so I missed out a bit on that But it s an interesting quick read, and it is so cool to have so many things in common with an author, really


  2. Devon Marie Devon Marie says:

    I am taking my own life because I am being used for misguided and exploitative capitalistic purposes


  3. Devon Marie Devon Marie says:

    I am taking my own life because I am being used for misguided and exploitative capitalistic purposes