Book cover of Bright Unbearable Reality: Essays by Anna Badkhenby Anna Badkhen

2022 National Book Awards Longlist for Nonfiction 

Essays about migration, displacement, and the hope for connection in a time of emotional and geopolitical disruption by a Soviet-born writer and former war correspondent.

Called a “chronicler of a world on the move” by The New York Review of Books, Anna Badkhen seeks what separates and binds us at a time when one in seven people has left their birthplace, while a pandemic dictates the direst season of rupture in humankind’s remembering. Her new essay collection, Bright Unbearable Reality, comprises eleven essays set on four continents—roving everywhere from Oklahoma to Azerbaijan—and united by a common thread of communion and longing.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for the Free Library of Philadelphia PodcastFree Library of Philadelphia 
Anna Badkhen | Bright Unbearable Reality: Essays
10/20/22           57 min

Podcast art for Keen OnKeen On 
Anna Badkhen on Today’s Bright Unbearable Reality: We Need to Dream Differently
10/17/22            40 min



Awards & Prizes


BISAC Language Arts & Disciplines

BISAC Literary Collections

BISAC Philosophy

BISAC Social Science

BISAC Travel

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