History of Literature

Russian literature


Lyudmila Ulitskaya

Lyudmila Evgenevna Ulitskaya (Людмила Евгеньевна Улицкая) is a critically acclaimed modern Russian novelist and short-story writer. She was born in the town of Davlekanovo in Bashkiria in 1943. She grew up in Moscow where she studied biology at the Moscow State University.

Having worked in the field of genetics and biochemistry, Ulitskaya began her literary career by joining the Jewish drama theatre as a literary consultant. She was the author of two movie scripts produced in the early 1990s: The Liberty Sisters (Сестрички Либерти, 1990) and A Woman for All (Женщина для всех, 1991).

Ulitskaya's first novella, Sonechka (Сонечка), published in Novy Mir in 1992, almost immediately became extremely popular, and was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Award. Today her writing is much admired by the general reading public and critics in Russia and many other countries. A number of interlinked themes dominate her works: the need for religious and ethnic tolerance; the problem of the intelligentsia in Soviet culture; gender and family issues; everyday life as a literary subject; and new images of the body (the sexual body, handicapped body, etc.). In 2006 she published Daniel Stein, Translator (Даниэль Штайн, переводчик), a novel dealing with the Holocaust and the need for reconciliation between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Her works have been translated into several languages and received several international and Russian literary awards, including the Russian Booker for Kukotsky's Case (Казус Кукоцкого) (2001). (Ulitskaya was the first woman to receive this distinguished prize.) She regularly publishes commentary on social issues and is actively involved in philanthropic projects increasing access to literature. Lyudmila Ulitskaya currently resides in Moscow.

Ulitskaya's works have been translated into many foreign languages. In Germany her novels have been added to bestseller list thanks to features of her works in a television program hosted by literary critic Elke Heidenreich. A number of her novels and short stories have been translated into English.


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