Julija Šukys

Julija Sukys
Associate Professor
334 Tate

PhD (2001) Comparative Literature, University of Toronto

Research and Teaching

Creative nonfiction, the essay (personal, lyric and otherwise), memoir, hybrid genres, archives, life-writing, audio storytelling.

Julija Šukys is a writer of creative nonfiction. She is the author, most recently, of Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter's Reckoning, winner of the 2018 Vine Award for Non-fiction & the 2018 AABS Book Prize; Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė, winner of the 2013 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Literature; and Silence is Death: The Life and Work of Tahar Djaout. Šukys is also the Director of the Missouri Audio Project and a Senior Editor at Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies

Author website: Writing. Life.

Awards and Honors


2021 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research & Creative Activity

2020-2021 Presidential Engagement Fellow, University of Missouri System

2018 Winner, Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature, Nonfiction (for Siberian Exile)

2018 Winner, AABS Book Prize, Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (for Siberian Exile)

2016-2017 Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, Office of Graduate Studies, University of Missouri 

2015 Arts & Science Faculty Fellow, University of Missouri

2013 Winner, Canadian Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Literature (for Epistolophilia)

Selected Publications


Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter's Reckoning, University of Nebraska Press, 2017. 

Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė, University of Nebraska Press, 2012.

Silence is Death: The Life and Work of Tahar Djaout, University of Nebraska Press, 2007.


And I burned with shame”: The Testimony of Ona Šimaitė, Righteous Among the Nations. A Letter to Isaac N. Steinberg. Search and Research 10. Ed. Dan Michman. Trans. of archival documents from Russian, with an introduction. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2007.

Select Essays

“There Be Monsters” Passages North. A "Notable" in Best American Essays, 2018. This essay contemplates an archival map and what it means to be descended from an accused war criminal.

“In Praise of Slim Volumes: Big Book, Big Evil,” Assay. An essay that examines and reads very short books of nonfiction or the book-length essay.

“Pregnant Pause: On Šimaitė, Archives,Writing and Motherhood,” Feminist Formations. This piece tells of a love triangle of sorts between a mother, her baby, and her biographical subject. It ponders the riddle of how to be both a mother and a writer.


Julija Šukys interviewed by Heather J. Macpherson, The Ocean State Review.

Julija Šukys interviewed by Deep Baltic.


Areas of Study
PDF Documents