One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Mikhail Shishkin

Mikhail Pavlovich Shishkin (Russian: Михаил Павлович Шишкин, born 18 January 1961) is a Russian writer.


Biography

Mikhail Shishkin was born in 1961 in Moscow.

Shishkin studied English and German at Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. After graduation he worked as a street sweeper, road worker, journalist, school teacher, and translator. He debuted as a writer in 1993, when his short story "Calligraphy Lesson" was published in Znamya magazine. Since 1995 he has lived in Zurich, Switzerland.[1][2] He averages one book every five years.[3]

Shishkin openly opposes the current Russian government,[4] calling it a "corrupt, criminal regime, where the state is a pyramid of thieves" when he pulled out of representing Russia at the 2013 Book Expo in the United States[5]

Shishkin's books have been translated into more than ten languages.[6] His prose is universally praised for style, e.g., "Shishkin's language is wonderfully lucid and concise. Without sounding archaic, it reaches over the heads of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky (whose relationship with the Russian language was often uneasy) to the tradition of Pushkin." He deals with universal themes like death, resurrection, and love.[7] Shishkin has been compared to numerous great writers, including Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Nabokov and James Joyce,[8] while he admits to being influenced by Chekhov along with Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Bunin, saying "Bunin taught me not to compromise, and to go on believing in myself. Chekhov passed on his sense of humanity – that there can’t be any wholly negative characters in your text. And from Tolstoy I learned not to be afraid of being naïve."

[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Shishkin_(writer)]


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