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About the Author
Maria Stepanova, born in Moscow in 1972, is one of the most powerful and distinctive voices of Russia's first post-Soviet literary generation. An award-winning poet and prose writer, essayist, and journalist, Stepanova is the author of ten poetry collections and three books of essays. Her poems have been translated into numerous languages including English, Italian, German, French, and Hebrew. She has received several Russian and international literary awards, including the prestigious Andrey Bely Prize and Joseph Brodsky Fellowship. Her novel In Memory of Memory is a documentary novel that has been published in over 17 territories. It won the 2018 Bolshaya Kniga Award, an annual Russian literary prize presented for the best book of Russian prose, and the 2019 NOS Literature Prize. Stepanova is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online independent crowd-sourced journal Colta, which covers the cultural, social and political reality of contemporary Russia, reaching audiences of nearly a million visitors a month.
Poet, writer, and translator Sasha Dugdale was born in Sussex, England. She has published five collections of poems with Carcanet Press, most recently Deformations, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2020, and an Observer Book of the Year 2020. She won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2016 and in 2017 she was awarded a Cholmondeley Prize for Poetry. She is former editor of Modern Poetry in Translation and is Poet-in-Residence at St John's College, Cambridge (2018-2021).
"[Stepanova is] a writer who will likely be spoken about in the same breath as Poland's Olga Tokarczuk and Belarus's Svetlana Alexievich in years to come... 2021 is the year of Stepanova."- Matthew Janney - The Guardian
"A remarkable work of the imagination--and, yes, memory."- Kirkus Review
"Stepanova's finely crafted debut follows a woman';s lifelong efforts to better understand her ancestors, Russian Jews whose stories fascinated her as a child growing up in the Soviet Union.";- Publishers Weekly
"The hybrid book that Ms. Stepanova has finally produced presents gleanings from her family archives alongside the labyrinthine narrative of her "search for the past," which she concedes is incomplete and in many ways unsuccessful. And amidst the personal artifacts are essay-like meditations on the tensions that inhere within any act of remembrance. The result is a rich, digressive, deeply introspective work."- Sam Sacks - Wall Street Journal
"[A] daring combination of family history and roving cultural analysis... a kaleidoscopic, time-shuffling look at one family of Russian Jews throughout a fiercely eventful century."- John Williams - The New York Times