Polygon will publish a deeply reported, deeply human book of stories shedding new light on the Russian invasion of Ukraine – Night Train to Odesa: Covering the Cost of Russia’s War, the debut non-fiction book by award-winning journalist from Shetland, Jen Stout. Managing Director Hugh Andrew bought World English rights from Jenny Brown of Jenny Brown Associates. Polygon will publish in Spring 2024.
Night Train to Odesa
When Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, millions of lives changed in an instant. Millions of people were suddenly on the move. In this great flow of people was a reporter from Shetland. Jen Stout left Moscow abruptly, ending up on a border post in southeast Romania, from where she began to cover the human cost of Russian aggression. Her firsthand, vivid reporting as she travelled alone, hauling around body armour, brought the war to audiences back home, as she reported from front lines and cities across Ukraine. Stories from the night trains, birthday parties, military hospitals and bunkers: stories from the ground, from a writer with a deep sense of empathy, always seeking to understand the bigger picture, the big questions of identity, history, hopes and fears in this war in Europe.
Jen Stout is a correspondent, writer and radio producer from Shetland. A former BBC Scotland journalist, she left Russia at the outbreak of the invasion and moved to Romania and then Ukraine, covering the war as a freelancer. She has written regularly for the Sunday Post, London Review of Books, and most recently, New Humanist and Prospect. Her radio work includes From Our Own Correspondent, Any Questions (Radio 4), and BBC World Service. This week it was announced that she is a recipient of Creative Scotland funding towards the writing of this book.
Hugh Andrew said: ‘I first met Jen Stout when she was on her way to Russia, a country she had been fascinated by since her youth. Little was she to know that she would be rapidly engulfed in the seismic events of the last year. A fluent Russian speaker, Jen had to leave Russia to return on the other side of the front line. As an unattached journalist she was able to travel the country, speak to people, and visit with a freedom that was given to few. Hers is a personal and unique perspective from both sides of this tragic conflict.’
Jen Stout said: ‘I had no idea what was ahead when I packed a bag and left Moscow overnight a few days after the invasion. I ended up covering a war, in a country I love, and learning every day from this experience and the people I met. I’m so happy to be working with Polygon to tell this story.’