The Nabokov House Museum in St. Petersburg

The Nabokov House Museum stands only minutes away from Russia’s famous Saint Isaac’s Cathedral on Bol’shaya Morskaya utlitsa in St Petersburg. The only signs advertising the museum are two small stone cravings that identify the building as Nabokov’s former home. Otherwise, the museum is a hidden literary treasure, available to those that know where to […]

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Sergei Lukyanenko: A Psychologist in Russian Science Fiction

In an interview with The New York Review of Science Fiction, Sergei Lukyanenko was asked why he started writing literature, to which he responded: “I couldn’t manage to find the sort of book I wanted to read. So I said to myself, why not simply write the kind of book I want to read? Then […]

Dmitry Bykov: History and Irony in the Spirit of Protest

In an interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Dmitry Bykov was asked what he thinks the role of the writer is in today’s society, to which Bykov responded: “As Strugatsky said, ‘To see everything, to hear everything, to understand everything.’” In his career, Bykov has certainly taken this quote to heart. He is […]

Olga Bergholz: “The Voice of the Blockade”

During the Siege of Leningrad in 1941, Olga Bergholz became a voice for the citizens trapped within the city. Reading her powerful poetry and flowing speeches over the radio waves and through loudspeakers, she captured with honesty the brutal reality of the Siege – including life, death, starvation, and the horrors of war. Not only […]

Tatyana Tolstaya: From Sightlessness to the World of Fiction

Before the invention of laser eye surgery to correct vision impairments, Tatyana Tolstaya was faced with a tough decision: suffer through poor vision, or undergo a long surgery involving medical razors. She chose the latter. Through a long convalescence, her eyes covered and unseeing as they healed, she was surprised to discover an “aetherial world […]

Boris Akunin: Nom de Plume, Nom de Guerre

In an interview with the Financial Times, Grigory Chkhartishvili was asked how his Russian upbringing stimulated his creativity, to which he responded: “I have the impression that if you were born in a calm country you could live until 90 without discovering who you really are because life does not test you so harshly. In […]

Dmitry Glukhovsky: Viral Literature

In an interview with the French art blog Adria’s News, Dmitry Glukhovsky was asked why he continued to post his literature online, to which he bluntly replied: “I want my books to spread like a virus.” With over five million free downloads of his novels, in 37 different languages, as well as in print, not […]

Crime and Publishing: How Dostoevskii Changed the British Murder

A few words on this book: Described by the sixteenth-century English poet George Turbervile as “a people passing rude, to vices vile inclin’d,” the Russians waited some three centuries before their subsequent cultural achievements—in music, art and particularly literature—achieved widespread recognition in Britain. The essays in this stimulating collection attest to the scope and variety […]

Petersburg with Pushkin’s Bronze Horseman

I’ve been reading works in which Petersburg is mentioned for the past few weeks in order to prepare for this amazing city. It’s been fantastic reconnecting with my love for Russian literature, but things have been feeling slightly off. Every time I walk somewhere, I am just in so much awe at the beauty of […]