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Andrey Kurkov


Andrey Kurkov was born in 1961 in Budogoshch, near Leningrad. His father was a test pilot and his mother a doctor. He first started writing as a child, a poem on the death of two of his pet hamsters. The family moved to Kyiv when he was still a child. He graduated from the Kyiv Foreign Languages Institute and trained as a Japanese translator. He then worked as an editor. He did his military service, first working for the KGB and then the military police. While working in Odessa, he wrote children’s stories. He published his first novel two weeks before the fall of the Soviet Union. Because of the chaos, he self-published and sold his books around Ukraine. He had already written eight novels and received 500 rejections before getting his first publishing contract. As well as writing novels and stories he has written many screenplays. He writes in his native language, Russian, and criticises the fact Russian is not recognised as an official language in Ukraine.

Other links

His Twitter page
Andrey Kurkov
A life in books: Andrey Kurkov
Articles by Andrey Kurkov that appeared in the New Statesman
Andrey Kurkov: dispatches from a country under siege
Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov: ‘I felt guilty writing fiction in a time of war’


(Only books translated into English)

1993 Бикфордов мир (The Bickford Fuse)
1995 Милый друг, товарищ покойника (A Matter of Death and Life )
1996 Смерть постороннего (Death and the Penguin)
1998 Игра в отрезанный палец (The Case of the General’s Thumb)
1998 Добрый ангел смерти (The Good Angel of Death)
2004 Остання любов президента (The President’s Last Love)
2005 Закон улитки(Penguin Lost)
2007 Ночной молочник (The Milkman in the Night)
2010 Садовник из Очакова (The Gardener from Ochakov)
2012 Львовская гастроль Джими Хендрикса (Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv)
2014 Ukrainisches Tagebuch. Aufzeichnungen aus dem Herzen des Protests (Ukrainian Diaries) (note: these were originally published in German)
2018 Серые пчелы (Grey Bees
2020 Самсон и Надежда (The Silver Bone)
2022 Diary of an Invasion: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine