Vladimir Sharov: Literature That Shines a Light on Dark History

Vladimir Sharov was a Russian writer who was deeply interested in the legacy of Russia’s Communist history. His nine novels focus on various aspects of this history: the communist schisms, Bolshevism, Stalin’s Terror, and the USSR’s collapse, and often mixes or juxtaposes ideas from Communism and religion. Russia’s Soviet history was deeply personal to Sharov, […]

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The Memorial Museum-Apartment of Nikolai Nekrasov

Nikolai Nekrasov is one of Russia’s most famous poets and literary thinkers. While he is not as recognized abroad as some of his contemporaries like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Turgenev, Nekrasov was a great influence on their careers as well as to as to the intellectual thought of the time that affected many of these great […]

The Dostoyevsky Memorial Apartment Museum in St. Petersburg

The Dostoyevsky Memorial Apartment Museum is dedicated to drawing a picture of the great Russian writer as a person with a focus on his work habits, on his concerns, and particularly on his family life. Even discussion of his greatest novels is presented within the context of telling us more about his family, which was […]

Victor Pelevin: Postmodernism for a Post-Soviet Society

Victor Pelevin, the cult author of such postmodernist classics as Oman Ra and Generation P, does not appear often in public and very rarely gives interviews. When he does, they are usually done over the internet. Pelevin’s published works, fortunately, speak for themselves. His novels are often multi-layered texts fusing elements of pop culture with […]

The Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment in St. Petersburg

The Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, makes, appropriately, a very strong use of narrative. The museum builds the story of Pushkin, his life and writing, all while maintaining a tight focus on the end of his story – a tragic death that, it seems, has never stopped being mourned. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

9 Recommended Theaters in Moscow

Russia is known for its theater and ballet. Take advantage and see all that you can while here. You can buy tickets at the theater or concert hall itself or from a reseller such as Kontramarka, Parter, or Ponominalu, which allow you to reserve tickets pick them up at location near you or even have […]

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 […]

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