Biographies of the Contemporary russian literature

Biographies of the Contemporary russian literature

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Ildar Abuziarov was born  in the city of Nizhny Novgorod in 1975. In 2000 he graduated from Nizhny Novgorod University with a degree in history. At the same time, he studied Islam in Moscow. He is the author of  several books: HUSH, Kurban-Roman, The Autumn of Djinns, Mutabor and other books. His novel HUSH was included in the long list of the National Bestseller Prize  and the  Big Book Prize. Mutabor was shortlisted for the  National Bestseller in 2013.

Boris_Akunin2Boris Akunin  is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili. Akunin was born in Georgia in 1956. He graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in Japanese Studies. His first novel about Erast Fandorin, handsome and young detective,  set up in tsarist Russia. The Winter Queen became the bestseller after its publication in 1998. His The Adventures of Erast Fandorin and The Adventures of Sister Pelagia series were translated into many languages. His first “serious” novel Aristonomiya was published in 2012. According to Akunin, it is a historical novel with’ emphasis on ideas’. Today Boris Akunin is one of the best-selling suspense writers in Russia.

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Peter Aleshkovsky, born in 1957 in Moscow, is an archaeologist and historian by training. He spent many years traveling in Northern Russia and was involved in the restoration of the renowned monasteries in Novgorod, Pskov, Solovki and Vologda. His  early Stargorod cycle  includes 30 narratives, largely of anecdotal nature. The short novel Seagull, abounding in ethnographic detail, was  nominated for the Russian Booker Prize in 1992.  His book Skunk: A Life (Жизнеописание Хорька) was nominated for the 1994 Booker, Vladimir Chigrintsev two years later for the same accolade, and A Fish (Рыба) was nominated for the 2006 Booker and the 2006 Big Book. Aleshkovsky won the Russian Booker Prize in 2016 for his  brilliant novel The Fortress.

Yuz Aleshkovsky was born in Siberia in 1929 but later moved to Moscow. In 1947 Aleshkovsky was drafted into the Soviet Navy but because of breaking the disciplinary code, he had to serve four years in jail. After serving the term, Aleshkovsky moved back to Moscow. From the very beginning of his writer’s career, his works were available only in ‘samizdat’. Some of his songs were included in the subversive self-published almanac “Metropol “(1979). From 1979 he lives in the West and now serves as a Visiting Russian Émigré Writer in Wesleyan College (CT). Aleshkovsky writes in the tradition of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He is the author of Kangaroo and Nikolai Nikolaevich.

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Maxim Amelin was born in 1970 in Kursk. He studied at the Gorky Literary Institute and for fourteen years was the director of Symposium Press. He is currently living in Moscow, where he is Editor-in-Chief at OGI and B.S.G. Press. His poetic style is somewhat unique in the contemporary Russian poetic scene. His first book Cold Odes was written in the neo-classical tradition of 18th century inspired by poems by Vasily Trediakovsky. He is the author of several books of poetry, including Cold Odes (Холодные оды, 1996), Dubia (1999), and The Horse of the Gorgon (Конь Горгоны, 2003), as well as a collection of prose and poems, Bent Speech (Гнутая речь, 2011). He is also a translator of Catullus, Homer, and other ancient and contemporary poets. He is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Moscow Account Prize (2003), the Anti-Booker, the Bunin Prize (2013), and the National Poet Prize (2017).

Maria Arbatova was born in 1957 in Murom. She studied philosophy at Moscow State University. After graduation from Maxim Gorky  Literary Institute, she became a playwright.She is the author of 14 plays staged in Russia and abroad, and 20 books. Currently she is one of the leaders of the Russian feminist movement.

Polina Barskova was born in St.Petersburg in 1976. She began publishing poems in Russian journals and released the first of her  books at 15.  She came to the United States in 1998 in order to pursue graduate studies at Berkeley, after having already completed a degree in classical literature at St. Petersburg University. Currently, she works at a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts . In 2015,  Barskova won the Andrei Bely Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Russia, for the book of prose  Живые картины.

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Pavel Basinsky was born in 1961 near Volgograd. He studied at Saratov University and at Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. Basinsky’s  book Leo Tolstoy: Escape from Paradise, came out in July 2010 and within two months had been reprinted twice. Escape from Paradise was ranked among the top ten most popular books in Russia for Summer-Autumn 2010.  Pavel Basinsky’s new book, Лев в тени Льва  (Lev in Leo’s shadow), which chronicles Leo Tolstoy’s relationships with his children particularly with his third son, Lev,  was presented on Sept. 13, 2014  at the “Yasnaya Polyana” Cultural Center.

Andrei Bitov was born in Leningrad in 1937. He graduated from Leningrad Mining Institute (1962). He is the author of numerous novels and collections of short stories:  Captive of the Caucasus, Life in Windy Weather, The Monkey Link and others. His novel Pushkin House presents the Soviet reality of the 1960s and is considered as one of the first works of Russian postmodernism. Bitov was granted the Bunin Prize in 2006 for his selected prose works Palace Without a Tsar. Bitov’s works have been translated into a number of European languages, including English, German, Swedish, French and Italian.

By Valery Ledenev. Faces of Russian-Literature.

Vasily Borodin was born in 1982 in Moscow. He is well-known in Russia as one of the  talented young poets and essayists, but his way to poetic stardom was unusual. He started writing poetry in his early childhood; however, his first publication appeared on the website Polutona  only in 2005. He graduated from the Moscow Evening Institute of Metallurgy, and has worked as an editor, essayist, and literary critic. He is the author of five books of poems: Luch. Parus (2008), P.S. Moscow – Gorod-jiraph (2011), and others.  In 2011, his book was long listed for the Début Prize. He was a finalist for the Razlichie Poetry Prize (2013). He was awarded the Andrei Bely Prize (2015) for his brilliant collection Losinyi Ostrov

Marina Boroditskaya was born in 1954 in Moscow. She graduated in 1976 from Moscow State Institute of Foreign Languages. Boroditskaya is the author of several books of poetry, books of poems for children and numerous translations of poems and fairy tales from English. Many of her poems have been translated into English and circulated in publications on both sides of the Atlantic.

1659_03_bykov2-150x150Dmitry Bykov (pen name of Dmitry Zilbertrood) was born in Moscow in 1967. Educated at Moscow State University, where he studied literature, he worked as a journalist and as a TV presenter. In 1990s he was a member of “Courtouaznye Manieristy” group of poets who specialized in writing ironic poetry. His acclaimed Biography of Pasternak (2005) became a sensation after publication. It won the National Bestseller Prize (2005), and the Big Book Prize (2006). The biography differentiated with prior accounts of Doctor Zhivago. Bykov  is the author of five novels, two collections of short stories, and several collections of poetry. Bykov won the National Bestseller again in 2011 for Ostromov, or the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a novel about Freemasons in Leningrad during the 1920s.

Nikolai Bytov  (Goman’kov) was born in Moscow in 1951. After graduating  from the Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering, he worked as a computer programmer. In 1985, he started “Epsylon-Salon”,  a samizdat literary magazine (with Alexander Barash). His first publication in a literary magazine happened in 1989. He has published three more collections of his poems and two books of  short stories. In 2011,  he won the Andrey Bely Prize for Думай, что говоришь.

Denis Butov was born in 1975. Butov lives in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. He spent two years in active service in Chechnya and is devoted to the military theme. His Five Days of War plunges the reader into the midst of fierce fighting and a miraculous salvation from sure death. His How Dreams Don’t Come True is about an ex-serviceman’s inability to reintegrate into peaceful life after his army stint in Chechnya.

Yury Buida was born in 1954 near Kaliningrad. He graduated from Kalinigrad University. He is the author of several novels:  The Domino Player (1993), Yoke (1996), Boris and Gleb (1997). His works combine everyday life with grotesque.  His novel Blue Blood was nominated for the Big Book Prize in 2011. In 2012,  he published a grotesque novel Вор, шпион и убийца.

2014_ksenia_bukshaKsenia Buksha was born in 1983 in St.Petersburg. After graduating from St.Petersburg University with a degree in economics,  she worked as an accountant. She began writing poetry and prose at the age of 14. Her  short story “There is No Night” was included in an anthology of the best Russian women writing of the 2000s complied by  famous writer  Zakhar Prilepin. Buksha won the National Bestseller Prize  for her  nostalgic production novel Freedom Factory in 2014 She lives in St.Petersburg.

CHIZHOVAElena Chizhova was born in 1957 in St. Petersburg. Chizhova turned to writing in 1996 after being rescued from a burning cruise ship. Her novel The Time of Women about the remarkable ability of Russian women to cultural resistance during hard times won the Russian Booker award in 2009. She is the director of the local PEN center in St. Petersburg.

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Lada Chizhova was born  in Novoaltaisk, Siberia but moved to Moscow to study at Moscow Academy of Arts.  Since then, she has been a student at Maxim Gorky Literary Institute. Her first publications were at the websites New Reality, Polutona, They were immediately noticed by public and critics alike but her raise to prominence and  literary success became possible after her media performances online. Her work was long listed for the Russian LiteratuRRentgen Prize-2012. Chizova’s poetic style is extraordinary: her short verses create universal and beautiful image of the worldHer poetry was translated to Italian and other languages

Alexander Chudakov ( 1938-2005) was born to a family of teachers in Shchuchensk in Kazakhstan. In 1960 he graduated with a degree in philology from Moscow State University. He has taught Russian literature at Moscow State University since 1969. Since 1964 he has been on the faculty of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Literature. His novel Lozhitsia mgla na starye stupeni (“A Gloom Is Cast Upon the Ancient Steps”), which was called “the major literary event of 2000, won the Booker of the Decade in 2011 posthumously.

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Lev Danilkin was born in 1974 Vinnitsa. He graduated from Moscow State University and hold Ph.D. He is a literary critic, journalist and writer. He is the author of biographical works on Yuri Gagarin  and Alexander Prokhanov.  Currently he works as an editor at Rossiiskaya Gazeta. He is the winner of Russian Big Book Prize (2017)  for  his book Lenin:The Pantocrator of Sun Dust, one of the most  important  and interesting works on the founder of Soviet state Vladimir Lenin.

Dmitry Danilov was born in Moscow in 1969. He has published four books to date, mainly short stories and novels. His texts have been published in magazines in the USA. He is editor-in-chief of the offical blog of a large car manufacturer. Danilov’s latest book is Описание города (“Description of a City”). He lives in Moscow.

Polina_Dashkova_in_Moscow_Feb2015_img1Polina Dashkova, the pen name of Tatiana Polianchenko, was born in Moscow in 1960. Dashkova, a graduate of Maxim Gorky Literary Institute, is Russia’s most successful mystery writer, with a total of 40 million copies of her books sold so far.


Picture by Andrei Romanenko, 2012

Danila Davydov was born in 1978. He  graduated from Maxim Gorky Literary Institute and holds a Ph.D. in philology. He is also a prominent scholar in the field of naïve and primitive poetry and a literary critic. He is the author of four books of poetry and was the first laureate of the Debut Prize (2000) for his collection of short stories  Experiences in Heartlessness. From 1999 to 2004, he was the Chairman of the Russian Union of Young Writers “Vavilon.” He edited  Brother’s Cradle: the Début Anthology of Poetry, and was the contributing editor of Nine Measurements: An Anthology of New Russian Poetry (2004). His poetic style is ironic and often incorporates quotes from folklore, Brodsky, and other poets. It creates an image of the mega-city where people are lost and don’t know where they come from or what the purpose of their existence there is. He lives in Moscow.

Andrey Dmitriev was born in St.Petersburg. He studied at the Department of Philology at Moscow State University, and graduated from the VGIK. Currently he lives in Moscow. He is the author of four books of prose. His novel The Villager and the Teenager won the Russian Booker-2012.

DragoArkady Dragomoshchenko (1946-2012) was born in Potsdam, Germany. In 1969 he moved to St. Petersburg. He was educated at the Vinnitsa Institute of Education, where he studied literature, and at the St.Petersburg Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema.  He worked as an editor and as a journalist. Dragomoshchenko  started writing poetry in 1970, and first published a poem in a literary magazine in 1985. He is considered the foremost representative of “language poetry” in contemporary Russian literature. His poetic style is often compared to the style elaborated by the American L*A*N*G*U*A*G*E poets. He won the Andrey Bely Prize in 1978.

Elizarov-pic1-150x150Mikhail Elizarov was born in 1973 in Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine. He graduated from Kharkov State University with a degree in philology. He also studied vocal and film studies in Berlin, Germany. His novel Pasternak and collection Krasnaya Plyonka were nominated for the National Bestseller Prize. His novel The Librarian, won the Russian Booker Prize (2008). It is one of the brightest works of Russian postmodernism. He lives in Moscow.

Elena Fanailova was born in Voronezh in 1962. She graduated from Voronezh Medical Institute and earned a degree in journalism from Voronezh State University. She worked for six years as a doctor at the Voronezh Regional Hospital. Since 1995,  she became a correspondent for Radio Svoboda, and has lived and worked in Moscow since the late nineties. Elena Fanailova received the Andrei Bely Prize in 1999 and the Moscow Count Prize in 2003. Her collection of poetry The Russian Version was translated into English and published in 2009.

Maria Galina was born in Twer in 1958 and has lived in Moscow since 1987.  A graduate of Odessa University majoring in marine biology, she took part in several sea expeditions in her youth.  She has been a professional writer since 1995. Her fiction contains a strong element of “magic realism”. She is the author of Iramifications (2009) translated into English . It is an example of Russian “fantasy” genre.

Sergey Gandlevsky was born in 1952. He has worked as a tour-guide, teacher and editor. Gandlevsky started writing poetry in 1970s, and in 1975 he became one of the founding members of the Moscow Time group of poets, which also included Bakhyt Kenzheyev, Alexander Soprovsky and Alexey Tsvetkov. He won the Anti-Booker Prize for his poetry collection entitled Prazdnik (1996), and Maly Booker Prize for his short novel Trepanatsiya Cherepa (Trepanation of the Skull).

AlisaAlisa Ganieva was born in 1985 in Moscow, but soon moved with her family to her native Dagestan. A graduate of Maxim Gorky Literary Institute, Ganieva has since won numerous awards for her prose and also a prize for her literary criticism. She was propelled to true stardom by her work Salam tebe, Dalgat! (2009) which won the Debut Prize. From the first strophes of Salam tebe, Dalgat! one is introduced to the marvelous world of the Caucasian Dagestan village. She is the author of award-winning novel The Bride And The Bridegroom (2015).

Mikhail Gigolashvili was born in Tbilisi in 1954. He received his Ph.D. from Tbilisi University, where he specialized in Dostoevsky. Gigolashvili was a teacher and author of numerous articles and monographs on Russian literature before moving to Germany in 1991. He currently teaches Russian at the University of Saarland. Gigolashvili’s first novel was Judea (1978) , which was followed by The Interpreter (2003), a collection of short stories Cryptograms (2007). His  novel, The Devil’s Wheel (2010), was shortlisted for the Big Book Prize in 2010 and was among the winning titles of the Readers’ Vote.

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Linor (Julia)  Goralik was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine in 1975 and immigrated to Israel before moving  to Moscow in 2001. She is the author of poetry and prose, and comics in Russian.  Among them Ustnoye narodnoye tvorсhestvo obitatelei sektora М1(2011),Valery (2011) and others. Her poetry is often described as the “new epic” style. Her works have been translated into English, Italian, and Chinese. Since  2014, she is the editor of the Booknik  web project. In 2016, she has been awarded the fellowship in poetry by Joseph Brodsky Memorial Fellowship Fund.

Anna Glazova was born in Dubna in 1973. She holds a Ph. D. in German and Comparative Literature from Northwestern University, IL. She has translated into Russian works by Kafka, Celan, Robert Walser and Unica Zürn. Glazova is the author of three volumes of poetry in Russian: Pusti voda (Let Water,2003); Pyetlya. Nyevpolovinu (Loop. Unhalved,  2008) and other. Her poems appeared in English translation in a volume entitled Twice Under the Sun (London, 2008).

Dmitry Glukhovsky was born in 1979. He studied journalism and foreign relations in Israel, lived in France and Germany, traveled to places like Chernobyl, the North Pole and the Baikonur launch pad as a reporter for Russia Today. His first novel Metro 2033 was originally published on his website in 2002 with free access to all the readers. The novel has later become an interactive experiment, drawing in thousands of readers. He is famous also with his bestselling novel It’s Getting Darker and with the series of satirical Stories of Motherland criticizing today’s Russia.

IlichevskyAlexander Ilichevsky was born in Sumgait, Azerbaijan in 1970.  He graduated with a degree in physics and began a career in science. In 2007,  Ilichevsky won  the Russian Booker Prize for his novel Matisse, about a Moscow physicist who gave up a comfortable life to wander. In 2010 he won second prize in the  Big Book Prize competition for The Persian, which draws on his childhood memories of Azerbaijan. His novel  Anarchists (2012)   represents the flourishing of the traditions of Russian classical psychological prose.

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Alexander Ilyanen was born in 1958. He graduated from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages in Moscow. For more than 20 years he served as a military interpreter. He is currently retired.  He is a winner of the Moscow Festival of Vers Libre. Ilyanen  has won the Andrei Bely Prize  for his novel Boutique Vanity (2007).  His  And Finn and The Road to U. were nominated for the Russian Booker Prize. His last novel  Пенсия  (2015)  has made a great success  and has been much discussed.  He lives in St. Petersburg.

Alexei IvanovAleksei Ivanov was born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1969. In 1971 the family moved to Perm, where he grew up. He studied journalism at Ural State University. He earned a degree in cultural studies in 1996. Ivanov has been nominated three times for the National Bestseller Prize.He is the author of  famous novel The Geographer  Drank his Globe Away. Award-winning  film (2013), directed by Alexander Veledinsky, was based on the novel of the same name.   Ivanov’s  novels The Gold of Revolt and The Heart of Parma were acclaimed by critics and readers alike.

ivanov_nikNikita Ivanov was born in 1989 in Yekaterinburg. He is an outsider on the Russian poetic scene but his voice is incredibly talented as he speaks out about the everyday struggles of Russian youth. He studied at his local university at the Department of Arts and Culture Studies and worked as a flight attendant and barista. Now he is a manager at an advertising agency. In 2008, he was awarded the Special Prize of the jury of the All-Russian Prize LiteratureRentgen. His poetry was published online and in literary journals “Novyi Mir” and “Ural”.  His Verse Libre poetry could be described as a continuation of the tradition developed by Andrei Rodionov. He lives in Yekaterinburg

Alexander Kabakov was born in 1943 into a military family. He graduated from Dnepropetrovsk University and after serving in the army, worked as an engineer in a rocket laboratory. In 1988 Kabakov wrote the dystopian novella No Return, which was translated and published widely. The sequel to No Return, the novel Condemned followed in1999. His book Moscow Tales was translated into many languages. He won the Big Book Prize in 2006 for Everything Is Reparable

Maxim_Kantor_01Maxim Kantor was born in 1957 in Moscow.  He graduated from Moscow Polygraph Institute with a degree in the arts. In 1983, he organized the independent group Krasny Dom (Red House). The group made a number of unofficial, one-day exhibitions. In 2006, Kantor published a novel, Uchebnik risovania (“Drawing Manual”) which caused controversy in the press. In 2013, Kantor’s novel Red Light entered into a short list of the National Bestseller Prize. Currently he works as a painter in Europe and as a social  commentator on Facebook and other media, and  specializes  in pseudo -philosophical writings and criticism of  Russian authorities.

Mark_kharitonovMark Kharitonov was born in 1937 in the Ukrainian town of Zhitomir, later the family moved to Moscow. Khartitonov graduated from Moscow Pedagogical Institute and worked as a teacher. He started to write in 1971 but only The Day in February appeared in print before ” glasnost”. He wrote an excellent novel Dva Ivana (1980) but it was not published until  1988 In 1992 Kharitonov was awarded the first Russian Booker Prize for his novel Linii sudby, ili Sunduchok Milashevicha. In 1994 it was translated to English as Lines of Fate. His prose is described as a mixture of descriptive writing with extensive intellectual commentary.

Timur_KibirovTimur Kibirov was born in 1955 and graduated from the Krupskaya Pedagogical Institute. From 1975 to 1977 he served in the Soviet Army. He began publishing his poetry in the late 80s and became one of the most recognizable contemporary Russian poets. Kibirov is the author of several books of poetry, postmodernist in nature, including When Lenin Was Young (1995), Stikhi o liubvi: Albom-Portret (1993), In Memoriam Derzhavin (1996) and others. Kibirov was the first recipient of the Joseph Brodsky Memorial Fellowship Fund and received many literary prizes, including the “Anti-Booker” (1997). In 2010, Kibirov published his first novel, Lada, or Bliss: A Chronicle of True and Happy Love. English translations of his poems have appeared in Third Wave: The New Russian Poetry (1992) and Contemporary Russian Poetry: An Anthology (2008).

Elena Koliadina won Russian Booker prize in 2010

Elena Koliadina was born in Vologda. Since 1995, she has been an author for Cosmopolitan. Her The Flower Cross, a novel written in old Russian language,  won the Russian Booker Prize in 2010 and became the literary sensation of the year. The narrative takes the reader back to the XVII century to a town called Totma. It is a story about beautiful young women Theodosia sacrificed by the local priest. The Koliadina’s style was criticized for its naturalism.


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Kirill Korchagin  is a poet, linguist and critic. He was born in 1986 in Moscow. His way to poetry was not typical: after graduation from the Moscow Institute of Radio Engineering, Electronics and Automation, he continued his studies and received a Ph.D. in Russian Language from the Institute of Russian Language (2012). Since then, he has taught at Moscow State University and participated in numerous  projects on theoretical and applied linguistics. His poetry was first published in the journals Air, Retz, and NLO. Korchagin is the author of the book of verses Propositions. He is a finalist of the LiteratuRRentgen and the Debut Prizes. He is also the laureate of the Moscow Account Minor Prize. Written in the tradition of vers libre, his poetry is innovative and paves the way for new forms of poetic utterance. He lives in Moscow.

Vladimir Kozlov was born in 1972 in Mogilev, Belorussia. He spent his childhood and adolescence years on the suburbs of that city. Kozlov graduated from Minsk State Linguistic University, and then from the Indiana University (USA). He has worked as a journalist, editor, translator, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. Since the early 2000s, Kozlov has lived in Moscow. He is the author of a dozen books of fiction and non-fiction, including Gopniki (“Hoods”) (2002), SSSR (“USSR”) (2009), long-listed for the Big Book Award and Domoi (“The Return”), 2010. In 2012 he published two outstanding novels: 1986 and a requiem for the 1990s Svoboda ( Freedom).

 Anna Kozlova  was born in Moscow.  She graduated from  Moscow State University with a degree in journalism.   Kozlova is the author of six books and also a screenwriter of  popular TV shows. Her novel  F20 about the life of a teenage girl, Julia, diagnosed with schizophrenia, became the winner of the National Bestseller  Prize in 2017. The jury stressed that Kozlova’s novel was unprecedented for its modern literary sharpness and irony and raised the question of  how people with mental disorders could  live in society and at the same time not be outcasts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASergei Kruglov is a poet and Orthodox priest. He was born in Krasnoyarsk in 1966.  Kruglov studied journalism at the  Siberian  Federal University. He worked at the local newspaper Vlast’ Trudu  and has published poems since 1993. In 1999 he  was ordained as a priest.  In 2002 a selection of his poems, previously anthologized in the  collection Provincial Literature, was  shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize. In 2008 he received the Prize for his books The Mirror (Зеркальце, 2007) and The Typist (Переписчик, 2008). He writes in the new-epic style.

Viktor Kulle was born in 1962 in the city of Kirovo-Chepetsk. Kulle is a poet, translator, literary critic and essayist. He is the author of Russia’s first dissertation on Brodsky’s poetry (1996) and a commentary on Brodsky’s Collected Works.  Kulle is the author of the poetry collections Palimpsest (2001) and Everything Seriously (2011), and winner of the Noviy mir magazine prize (2006), the Italian prize “Lerici Pea – Mosca” (2009) and the A.M. Zverev prize from “Inostrannaya literatura magazine” (2013).

russia-120x153-kuzminDmitry Kuzmin was born in 1968. He graduated from Moscow State University for Pedagogy and worked as an Assistant Professor of Foreign Literature and Literary Translation. In 1989 Kuzmin founded the  Union of Young Writers “Vavilon” . In 1996 he started the Vavilon Internet project, an online anthology of current Russian writing. Since 1993,  he has been the head of ARGO-RISK Publishers producing about 20 new poetry titles annually. A selection of his poems and translations It’s Fine to Be Alive won the Moscow Count Prize for the Best Debut Poetry Collection.

Picture by Dmitry Kuzmin

Stanislav Lvovsky  was born in 1972 in Moscow. He graduated from the Department of Chemistry at Moscow State University. Lvovsky was one of the founders (together with Dmitry Kuzmin and others) of the Union of Young Writers “Vavilon” in 1989. After graduation, he worked as teacher of English and chemistry. He is the author of three poetry books, a collection of short stories (The Word of Flowers and Dogs), and other books. He was the laureate of the 4th Festival of Vers Libre Poetry (Moscow, 1993) and  the first place winner of the Moscow Account Minor Prize (2003). He worked as chief editor of culture on websites and  He is a member of the editorial board of the online literary magazine TextOnly.

Alexander Kuznetsov-Tulyanin was born in 1963. He lived in the Kuril Islands in the Pacific for ten years. His novel Yazichnik was published in 2006. It was nominated for the Apollon Grigoryev and National Bestseller prizes. It was considered one of the most significant novels of 2006.

LeventalVadim Levental was born in St. Petersburg in 1981.  He  has attended St. Petersburg State University and earned a Master’s degree.  Vadim Levental works  for a publishing house. He is also a  chairman of the organizing committee for the National Bestseller Prize . His first  novel, Masha Regina, was shortlisted for the Big Book Prize in 2013. The book is about a girl from provincial Russia who begins a career in screenplay writing/film direction and becomes  a star. The book constitutes the interesting combination of  postmodernism and  psychological drama.

 112Vladimir Medvedev was born in Transbaikalia, on Lake Kinon, but lived most of his life in Tajikistan. He worked as a geologist, a teacher,  a newspaper correspondent, a photo reporter, and an editor in literary journals.  Now he lives in Moscow.  His last novel  Zahhok is, according to literary critic Galina Yuzefovich, definitely one of the main books of 2017, and one of the best novels written in Russian recently. The novel  covers  a dark part of the history of Tajikistan immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The action takes place in the nineties in the Pamir Mountains, where a Russian woman was forced to come to save her two kids. Vladimir’s brilliant storytelling and the polyphony of seven voices  in the novel make it captivating, painful but exciting reading.

НосовSergei Nosov was born in in St. Petersburg.  He graduated from the  St.Petersburg State Institute of the Airospace (1980)  and Maxim Gorky Literary Institute (1988). He is the author of several successful novels.  His Франсуаза, или Путь к леднику  (Françoise  Or the Way to the Glacier) was shorlisted for the National Bestseller in 2012.   In 2015 he won the National Bestseller  Prize for his mystical novel  Фигурные скобки (Curly Brackets).


Photo by Alexey Evseev

Victor Pelevin was born in 1962. He has a degree in electromechanical engineering from Moscow Engineering Institute. Pelevin attended seminars in creative writing at Maxim  Gorky Literary Institute. His The Blue Lantern received the first Russian Little Booker Prize. His first novel, Omon Ra, was published in 1992. Pelevin  is a laureate of multiple literary awards including  the Russian National  Bestseller (2004).  Esoteric motives in Pelevin’s books are not incidental; the writer studied Eastern culture and went repeatedly to South Korea to live in a Buddhist retreat.

Lyudmila Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938. Today she is regarded as one of Russia’s most prominent contemporary  women writers and most famous in the West. Her work There Once Lived a Woman who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby, was published by Penguin Books in October 2009 and became a New York Times Book Review bestseller in December 2009. In 2010 it won the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection

Vera Polozkova was born in Moscow in 1986. She started to write poetry at an age of five. She attends Moscow University. Polozkova rose to prominence with her poetry blog and video production, bringing poetic readings to the young cultural scene. Her first public appearance was in 2007 in Moscow. Polozkova is the author of four poetic books and received numerous literary awards, including the Neformat Prize. She represents the modern day pop-culture in Russian poetry.

Andrei Polyakov was born in 1968 in Crimea. He holds a degree in philology from Tavrical National University. He was an editor with the Journal Review, a Crimean digest of Russian literature. He has published three books of poems, including The Orthographic Minimum (2000) . Polyakov is the  winner of the Andrey Bely Prize (2011) for his book of poetry Chinese descent (2010).

Zakhar PrilepinZakhar Prilepin was born near Ryazan in 1975.  Prilepin had extensive experience as a soldier with the Special Forces in Chechnya. His novel Sankya about a young rebel was based on his own experiences with young political extremists. It was shortlisted for the Russian Booker (2007). It also won the Yasnaya Polyana Award. His novel The Sin won the National Bestseller Prize in 2008.  His recent epic novel Обитель (The Cloister), about life in the Solovki prison camp on the Solovetsky islands in 1920s, won the Big Book Prize in 2014. It is a compassionate  story about prisoners  trying to keep their humanity and dignity. Prilepin is considered one of the best Russian writers of the 21st century, “a modern Leo Tolstoy, who has reached new heights in terms of understanding life”. By Alexander Tyagny-Ryadno

Vitaly Pukhanov was born in 1966 in Kiev. After a stint in the Soviet army, he studied and graduated from Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow.  He started publishing his poetry in the early 90’s in literary journals. In 1995 his first book The Wooden Garden was published in Moscow. After a stressful year in Kiev where he was unemployed, Pukhanov returned to Moscow and worked on the journal October. Since 2003, he has been the executive secretary of the literary prize  Debut . He is the author of three books. His poetry is unusual in the context of the modern poetic scene in Russia: it’s traditional and classical in form and appealing through its great lyrical expression. He lives in Moscow.


Andrei Rodionov was born in 1971.  Rodionov  is an outstanding figure in contemporary Russian poetic scene. His career began in 2000 in Moscow as a performer on poetry slams. In 2002 he was awarded the Russian Slam prize. He continues to be a leading figure in the Russian slam poetry movement;  in 2010, he organized the first national Russian slam final in Perm. He is the author of seven books of poetry: Новая драматургия (New Dramaturgy) 2010; Игрушки для окраин (Toys for the Outskirts), 2007; Пельмени устрицы (Dumplings-Oysters), 2004 and others.

Valery Ronshin was born in 1962. He graduated with a degree in history from Petrozavodsk University in Karelia and went on study at the Literature Institute in Moscow. He started writing relatively late but broke into top literary magazines almost immediately. His stories are reminiscent of early Pelevin’s books. He  lives in St. Petersburg.

Maria_Rybakova1Maria Rybakova was born in 1973 in Moscow. She studied at Moscow University and Humboldt University (Germany) and hold Ph.D. from Yale (2004). Rybakova is the author of novels Anna Grom and her ghost, The Fellowship of the losers. Winner of literary awards: Eureka,Globe. Her novel Anna Grom and her Ghost was nominated for the Russian Booker prize. In 2011 Vremia published Гнедич (Gnedich), a novel-in-verse about Russian poet Nikolai Gnedich, the first translator of The Iliad to Russian. The English translation of Gnedich  by Elena Dimov  was published in 2015. Her novel Chernovik cheloveka was longlisted for the Russian Booker prize  in 2015.


Picture by internet portal Год Литературы - 2017.

Andrey Rubanov was born in 1969 in the village Uzunovo near Moscow. His Do Time, Get Time, a semi-autobiographical book about his experience being in prison, was picked up by a publisher and shortlisted for the 2006 National Bestseller Prize. After Rubanov’s name was cleared, he worked in Chechnya during 1999-2000 as a press-secretary. His Barely a Drop was translated into English. His book Iodine (2010) combines realism with fantasy and anti-utopia.  His novel Patriot was shortlisted for the Big Book Prize – 2017. (Picture by internet portal Год Литературы – 2017).

Dina Rubina was born in 1953 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She studied music at Tashkent Conservatory. After graduation in 1977,  she began working at the Institute of Culture. In 1990 Rubina emigrated to Israel. Today she is one of the most widely-read Russian-Israeli authors. Her life and adventures since 1990 are reflected in several of her novels. She is the author of almost twenty books. She lives in Israel and writes in Russian.

Lev Rubinstein was born in 1947 in Moscow and worked as a librarian. A laureate of the prestigious Andrei Bely Prize, Rubinstein is an accomplished poet with a sharp eye for unusual detail. His Catalogue of Comedic Novelties (2003) and Here I Am: Performance Poems (2002) were translated into English.

German Sadulaev was born in 1973 in the town of Shali, Chechnya to a Chechen father and Cossack mother. In 1989 he left Chechnya to study law at Leningrad State University. Today he lives and works as a lawyer in St Petersburg. His second book, I am a Chechen!, was nominated for the National Bestseller Prize.

Nina Sadur was born in 1950 in Novosibirsk. She arrived in Moscow in 1977 to study at the Gorky Literature Institute from which she graduated in 1983. Sadur demonstrates an extraordinary grasp of theatrical conditions in her plays: she both conforms to theatrical tradition and innovations. She developed her own post-Soviet theater language. Her first play, Chudnaia baba (The Weird Peasant Woman, 1989) enjoyed great popularity among the studio theaters that flourished in Moscow during the mid 1980s. This combination of Soviet reality with universal absurdity came to light when Vladimir Tumanov staged Chudnaia baba in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1988.

Igor Sakhnovsky was born in 1958 in the city of Orsk, Orenburg region. In 1981 he graduated from Ural State University and worked as a literary consultant. In 1999, in “Novyi Mir” was released his first novel Pressing Needs of the Dead. In 2000, the novel was nominated for the Apollon Grigoriev Prize.  In 2002, it was  translated into English and awarded the International Literary Prize. In 2007, his novel, The Man who Knew Everything was included in the list of finalists for the National Big Book Prize and Russian Booker.

By Anastasia Karkacheva.Faces of Russian Literature

Nikita Safonov is a poet and literary critic. He was born in 1989 in Omsk, Siberia and has lived in Ryazan. Nine years ago, he moved to St. Petersburg, where he graduated from the Mining Institute, Department of Underground Space. He is the author of the book of poems Knots (Узлы, 2011). His poetry was published in the journals Translit, NLO, and Air, and on the websites TextOnly and Halftone. He was a participant in the “Poetronic” festival in Moscow and the 7th  annual May festival of new poets.  His vers libre poetry is striking with its absence of traditional  meter and rhymes, but also with brilliant layered prosody. He lives in St. Petersburg. (By Anastasia Karkacheva.Faces of Russian Literature)

SamsonovSergey Samsonov  was born in 1980 in Podolsk. He is the author of the novels Foot (2007); The Kamlaev’s Anomaly (2008); The Oxygen Limit (2009). He was  the finalist of the National Bestseller Prize in 2009.  His Соколиный рубеж  about  the epic confrontation of two aces of air combat during WWII – the Soviet “Stalin Falcon” and the German pilot, – was long-listed for the National Bestseller Prize-2017. Sergey Samsonov is considered the main discovery of the Russian literature of last years.

Olga Sedakova was born in 1949 in Moscow. She graduated from Moscow State University and earned her Ph.D. in Slavonic Mythology. Since 1991 she has lectured at Moscow State University. She was Chevalier d’ Honneur de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Republique Française in 2005. She is the winner of the Andrei Bely Prize (1983) for poetry, essays and poetry translations in samizdat. Sedakova is the most prominent poet in Russia today. Her The Silk of Time and Poems and Elegies are translated to English.

IliaIlya Semenenko-Basin  was born in 1966 in Moscow and graduated from Moscow University. He began writing poetry very early in his adolescent years, but his first book of poetry, By the Streams of Silver, was published only in 2012. It was shortlisted for the Russian Gulliver’s Poetry Prize in 2014. He is a professor at the Center of Religious Studies at the University of Humanities in Moscow and a prominent scholar in the field of history of the Russian Orthodox Church. Semenenko-Basin’s verse libre poetry is often laconic, but full of philosophical insight. It is always a thought clothed in the verse form, sometimes a sketch of the world around him – momentary and concise, a miniature in itself.

senchinRoman Senchin was born in 1971 and grew up in Siberia. The family had to flee his native Tuva and move to Minusinsk as a result of the post-Soviet nationalist strife that flared up there. Recently he has moved to Moscow. Senchin is one of the most talented and expressive spokesmen for his generation and a founder of the so-called New Realism. He has several novels and many short stories to his name and has won several prestigious literary prizes. Senchin has written an excellent novel The Yeltyshevs  about an ordinary Russian family that disintegrates under the new economic conditions. His novel Minus was translated  into English by Arch Tait.  His new novel  The Flood Zone is an homage to the  Valentin Rasputin’s  Parting with Matera.  It claimed  third  place in the Big Book Prize-2015.

Sasha Sokolov was considered one of the premier writers of the post-Soviet period in 90s. He was born in 1943 in Ottawa where his father worked at the Soviet embassy. He graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in journalism. He emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1975 and moved to Canada. His book Shkola dlia durakov ( A School for Fools) is a narrative about a boy’s life. In 1996 he received the Pushkin Prize for his literary works.

Photo by Dmitri Kuzmin form

Vladimir Sorokin is a post-modern Russian writer, one of the most popular in modern Russia. He was born in 1955 in a small town outside of Moscow. He was trained as an engineer at the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas, but turned to art and writing, becoming a major presence in the Moscow underground of the 1980s. His work was banned in the Soviet Union, and his first novel, The Queue, was published by dissident Andrei Sinyavksy in France in 1983. His most famous and controversial novel is the science-fiction Blue Lard. In 2001 he won the National Booker Prize. (Photo by Dmitri Kuzmin form

Viktor Sosnora was born in 1936 in Alupka, Crimea.  During WWII he was in Leningrad, then was evacuated from the city through “Road of Life”. His first book  was published in 1962 . He has lectured in Paris and the United States. The author’s  book of poetry The January Downpour was published in 1989. Sosnora was the Russian Poet Laureate in 2012.

Skidan,_AlexanderAlexander Skidan was born  in Leningrad in 1965. He is a poet, critic, essayist and translator. In 2008, his book Red Shifting was published in the USA by Ugly Duckling Press, translated  by Genya Turovskaya. In 2006, he won the Andrei Bely Prize for Red Shifting. He is the co-editor of the New Literary Observer magazine and lives in St. Petersburg.


Olga Slavnikova.Picture for Causa Artuim. 2011Olga Slavnikova graduated from Yekaterinburg State University in 1981 and began writing  fiction in the late 1980s. She was the editor, then managing editor, of the literary magazine “Ural”. Her first novel, A Dragonfly Enlarged to the Size of a Dog, made the short list for the Russian Booker Prize in 1997; it immediately raised her to the top ranks of Russian literature. She has received the Apollon Grigoriev Prize, the Polonsky Prize, the Bazhov Prize.  Her magnum opus 2017 , won the Russian Booker prize in 2006 and was translated into English. Her novel  Light Head was published in 2010. Olga Slavnikova lives in Moscow.

Anna Starobinets was born in Moscow in 1978 and graduated from Moscow State University. She writes in the genre of ‘intellectual fantasy’. In 2005,  Starobinets published her debut collection of strange stories Awkward Age.

 Maria Stepanova at Dacha on Pokrovka. Photo credit:

Maria Stepanova  is among the most prominent figures in the modern literary scene in Russia. She is a poet and famous journalist, one of the founders and publishers of and Stepanova was born in Moscow in 1977 and graduated from Maxim Gorky Literary Institute. She is a participant in the project Vavilon  – a publication of contemporary Russian literature online, started by Dmitry Kuzmin. She is the author of ten volumes of poetry and two volumes of essays. Among her books are Songs of Northern Southerners, Happiness, and others. Her Prose of Ivan Sidorov, first published online in 2006, was staged. Her poetry is masterful and a remarkable example of the modern epic ballad. She is the recipient of numerous Russian and international prizes for her poetry, among them the Joseph Brodsky Foundation Memorial Fellowship (2010).

Marina Stepnova was born in 1971 in the small town of Efremov, in the Tula region. Stepnova was raised in Moscow, where she now lives. She graduated from Maxim Gorky Literary Institute and did postgraduate studies at the Institute of World Literature. She is a translator from Romanian. Stepnova’s translation of Nameless Star  by Mikhail Sebastien has been staged by numerous theaters throughout Russia. Her novel Surgeon  was long-listed for the National Bestseller Prize. Her novel Lazarus’s Women was nominated for the National Bestseller prize in 2012. It is written in a genre of family saga.

Sergei Shargunov

Sergei Shargunov was born in 1980  into the family of a Russian Orthodox priest. He is a graduate of Moscow State University with a degree in international journalism. Since then he has reported from different locations including Chechnya and South Ossetia.  In Russia,  Shargunov earned  a reputation of writer with a social conscience. Since 2000 Shargunov works at the literary magazine New World.   In 2016 he became the member of Russian Duma.  Shargunov  is the editor- in-chief of the internet portal Svobodnaia Pressa. He is the winner of the Debut Prize for his novel Malish nakazan (The Child is Corrected).  His Book Without Photographs was shortlisted for the National Bestseller Prize and a contender for the Big Book Prize.

Photo credit Academia Rossica

Vladimir Sharov was born in 1952 in Moscow. He graduated from Voronezh University with a degree in history. His first novel was published in 1991 . In 2014 Vladimir Sharov’s eighth novel, Возвращение в Египет (Return to Egypt), was shortlisted for The Big Book Prize, Russia’s most prestigious literary award. It won the Russian Booker Prize several months later. Its hero, a Soviet agronomist by the name of Nikolai Gogol,  who is a descendant of the  great Russian writer of the same name,  takes upon himself the task of completing his ancestor’s unfinished masterpiece, Dead Souls, and leading the Russian people to salvation. Sharov follows the historical journey of Soviet generation whose lives are correlated to the Book of Exodus – hence the novel’s title.

Tatiana Shcherbina was born in 1954. She graduated from Moscow State University. Prior 1986,  Shcherbina published in samizdat ( nonofficial literature) six books. In 1991 in Russia were published her collections of poetry, prose and the collection of translations of contemporary French poetry. She lived in Munich and Paris in 1991-95 and worked as a correspondent of Radio Svoboda.

Michael ShishkinMikhail Shishkin was born in 1961 in Moscow. Shishkin worked as a school teacher and journalist. His writing debut in 1993, Calligraphy Lesson, was named the best debut of the year. In 1995 he moved to Switzerland. Two novels earned him three most prestigious Russian literary awards: The Taking of Izmail (2000) won the Russian Booker Prize and Venus Hair (Maiden’s Hair) received both the National Bestseller Prize and the Big Book Prize.  Shishkin is considered as one of the best contemporary Russian writers.

Elena  Shvarts (1948-2010) was one of the leaders of Leningrad’s underground culture in 1970-80s. Born in Leningrad, she lived there her entire life. Shvarts attended University of Tartu, where her first poems were published in the university newspaper in 1973. Her work began to appear in émigré journals since 1978. She published two collections of poetry: Tantsuyushchii David and Stikhi and a novel in verse Trudy i dni Lavinii abroad before a collection Storony sveta was allowed to be published in the Soviet Union, “bringing her immediate recognition both at home and abroad”. Collected Works by Elena Shvarts were published by Pushkinskii fund in 2002-08.

Photo credit

Fedor Svarovsky was born in 1971 and immigrated to Denmark at the age of 19, where he received refugee status and lived for six years. In 1997, he returned to Moscow where he continues to work as a journalist.  He is the author of several  books. His first book of poetry Все хотят быть роботами was shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize (2007).  In 2011, Svarovsky participated in PEN’s New Voices reading series  in NYC.  He is the author of  notable “New Epos” “‘Manifesto ( 2008) and a leading figure in “new epic”.

Eugenia Suslova was born in 1986 in Nizhny Novgorod and graduated from Nizhny Novgorod University with a degree in Russian philology. She held the PhD degree from St. Petersburg State University. She taught at Moscow International school of cinema and worked as editor at the publishing house for children literature. Her poetry and essays were published in “Homo Legens”, “RETS”, “Vozdukh”, TextOnly and other sites.   Suslova’s verses were noticed  by critics and she became the finalist for the LiteratuRRentgen Prize (2006, 2010).  Her first book Svod Masshtaba was published in 2013 and nominated for the Andrey Bely Prize. In 2016 she published her second book Animal (Животное).  Her poetic style is  innovative,  evasive and based on complex imagery. She lives in Nizhny Novgorod. By Vladimir Aleksandrin

Nikita Sungatov is a poet and literary critic. He was born in 1992 in Prokopyevsk, a small mining city in Siberia, and studied at Moscow Maxim Gorky Literary Institute. Since 2010, he has published his poetry in the literary journals AirNLO, and Translit. His poetry is characterized by the refusal from the individual voice, by its epic narrative and brilliant linguistic tools. All together it creates a unique poetic style.  In 2015, Sungatov published his first collection of poems, the Débute Book of the Young Poet (Debyutnaya kniga molodogo poeta) about the everyday struggles of talented and restless youth. It evoked a broad interest among young readers with its dry humor, literary merit and political undertones.

Terekhov 2Alexander Terekhov was born in 1966 in the provincial town of Tula, south of Moscow. After graduating from Moscow State University, he served in the Soviet Security Forces. Later Terekhov worked as a reporter. At this time he began to win acclaim for his literary dissection of military life and his depiction of the chaos that perestroika had ushered in across provincial Russia. In 1997 his novel The Rat Killer was published. His novel The Stone Bridge, an exploration into the mysteries of Stalin’s Moscow, took second prize at the Big Book Prize in 2009. His novel Nemtsi won the National Bestseller Prize  in 2012. Alexander Terekhov is considered among the best  writers in Russia,

Tatiana Tolstaya was born in 1951 in Leningrad into a family of rich literary tradition. Her grandfather was writer Aleksei Tolstoy. Tolstaya graduated from Leningrad State University. She moved to Moscow in the early 1980.Today her life is divided between the U.S., where she spends half of the year lecturing at a university, and Russia. Several collections of her short stories were translated to English.

Alexey Tsvetkov was born in Ukraine in 1947. He studied history at Moscow State University, and hold a Ph.D. in philology from Michigan State University. In 1975, he became a founding member of the Moscow Time group of poets, which also included Bakhyt Kenzheev, Alexander Soprovsky and Sergey Gandlevsky. Tsvetkov immigrated to the USA in 1975. He worked for the Voice of America and radio Svoboda as a radio journalist. His first three collections were published in the USA. In 1996, the book entitled Poems was published in St. Petersburg.

Lyudmila-UlitskayaLyudmila Ulitskaya was born in 1943 in the Urals and graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in biology. Several years she worked in the Institute of Genetics as a scientist. She made her literary debut in the early 1990’s with a collections of short stories. Ulitskaya was  the  first woman to win the Russian Booker prize for her controversial novel Kazus Kukotskogo (2001).  Recently she is considered  one of the founding  members of the anti-government movement in Russia. Her works have been translated into several languages.

Andrei Usachev was born in 1958 in Moscow. He attended Moscow Institute of Electronics but left to study humanities at Tver State University. He is the author of books for children In 2005 he won The Book of the Year Prize (children’s).

Tatiana Ustinova has published close to 30 novels and is one of the most popular Russian crime fiction authors.

Dmitry Vedenyapin was born in 1958 in Moscow. He graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages. Vedenyapin is the author of four poetry collections. He won the Big Moscow Count Poetry Prize for the book  Mezhdu shkafom i nebom  (Between the wardrobe and the sky) in 2010,  and became Joseph Brodsky Memorial Fellow in 2011.


Dmitry Vodennikov is a poet, radio host and essayist. In 2002, he was named one of the top ten best living Russian poets. He was born in 1968 in Moscow, and graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. After graduation, he worked as a teacher for several years. He continues his humanitarian mission today by helping a children’s foundation. Vodennikov is considered to be a leader of the “New Sincerity” movement in Russian literature. He is the author of several volumes of poetry: Tchernovik, 2006, Promise (Obeshanie, 2011), and Hello, I’ve come to bid you farewell (Zdravstvyite, ya prishel s vami poproschatsya) – an autobiographical novel (2007). For a number of years, Vodennikov has been hosting radio shows about contemporary Russian literature including “Notes from a Neophyte,” “From One’s Own Angle” (Своя колокольня), and “Poetic Minimum.

Vodolazkin,_Yevgeny_01Evgeniy Vodolazkin was born in Kiev in 1964. He holds a Ph.D. in ancient Russian literature and is a well known expert in the field of old Russian literature. He works at the Pushkin House  in St.Petersburg. Vodolazkin was catapulted to prominence by his debut novel Solovyov and Larionov, which was popular both with readers and critics alike. It was nominated for both the Andrei Bely Prize (2009) and the Big Book Award (2010). His Lavr (Laurus) about the life of St. Arseny is a famous postmodern novel.  It won the Big Book Prize in 2013. It was translated into English by Lisa Espenschade. He lives in St.Petersburg.

Photo by Andrei Borisov

Valery Votrin was born in 1974 in Tashkent into a Russian family. He studied English Language and Literature at the Department of Germanic and Romance Studies at Tashkent State University. Since 2000, he has  lived in Belgium where he received a M.S. degree in Human Ecology and a Ph.D.  in Environmental Science from the Free University of Brussels. He has worked as an environmental consultant. He started to publish short stories and novels since 1995. In 2009, his novel The Last Magog was shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize. Another novel, The Speech Therapist ( Логопед) 2012 was nominated for  the Russian Booker Prize and the Big Book Prize. It is one of the brightest examples of Russian postmodernism.

Mikhail Weller was born in Kamenets-Podolsky, Ukraine in 1948. He graduated with a degree in linguistics from Leningrad University in 1972. He worked as a logger and a hunter in the taiga, a shepherd, a teacher and a journalist. Currently he teaches modern Russian literature at the universities of Milan, Jerusalem and Copenhagen. His Major Zvyagin’s Adventures (1991) and Legends of Nevsky Prospect (1993), became bestsellers. Another of Weller’s bestsellers,  scandalous The Courier From Pisa (2000) has had 11 editions. His short novel The Knife of Seryozha Dovlatov  created a literary scandal.

Leonid Yuzefovich was born in 1947 in Moscow. Yuzefovich spent his youth in the Urals, graduating from Perm University with a Ph.D. in History. Yuzefovich’s  novel, Cranes and Pygmies,  won the Big Book award and was nominated for the National Bestseller Prize in 2009. It is a tour-de-force which unfolds in three settings: in present-day Mongolia, in  Russia in 1993, and in the 17th century. It was translated into English.

oleg-zaionchkovsky-455x250Oleg Zaionchkovsky was born in Samara in 1959. He is from famous Russian noble family. He spent almost all his adult life in the small town of Khotkovo, near Moscow, working as a test engineer in a factory making rocket engines. His first two books, Sergeev and the Town and Petrovich, both came out in 2004. It is a depiction of everyday life in an ordinary Russian town written in realist style reminiscent of the Russian classics. Sergeev and the Town was shortlisted for the National Bestseller and Russian Booker Prizes.  His  book, Happiness is Possible (2010), was also shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize as as well the Russian Big Book Prize.  It is constructed from a sequence of novellas; in beautiful, unpretentious Russian it depicts the quiet joys that can be found in contemporary life.

S_Zavyalov_2008Sergey Zavyalov is a prominent representative of the St. Petersburg post-modernist movement. He was born in 1958 in Tsarskoe Selo and graduated in Classics from Leningrad University. In 2004, he moved to Finland and to Switzerland in 2011. He is currently teaching the history of Russian poetry at the University of Zürich. Zavyalov published his first poems in the 1980s in the Leningrad “samizdat,” and was a member of the art group Club-81. At the end of the 1990s, Zavyalov participated in several joint literary actions with a group of St. Petersburg poets, later to be known as postmodernists (Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, Alexander Skidan, Dmitry Golynko and others). His poetry has gradually developed from vers libre to prose poetry and from the lyrical to the epic. He has published several volumes of poetry: Melica, 2003;  Orations (Rechi), 2010; Soviet Cantatas, 2015, and others. In 2015, he won the Andrei Bely Prize for Soviet Cantatas.

Source: Vladimir Vyatkin / RIA Novosti/RBTH

Guzel Yakhina was born in Kazan in 1977 and now lives in Moscow. She  graduated from the Moscow Screenwriting Academy.  Zuleikha Opens her Eyes is her debut novel. In 2015, it has received the Yasnaya Polyana Literary Prize and won the Big Book Prize. The novel is about the fate of  Zuleikha, a peasant  woman living in a remote Tatar village in the 1930s, and other villagers who were sent to a Siberian  labor camp.



Categorie:E10.02- Schede di Letteratura russa contemporanea - Обзоры современной русской литературы, Uncategorized


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