Andrey Kurkov

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Andrey Kurkov, Warsaw (Poland), May 19, 2007

Andrey Yuryevich Kurkov (Ukrainian: Андрій Юрійович Курков; Russian: Андре́й Ю́рьевич Курко́в) (born 23 April 1961 in Leningrad, Russia) is a Ukrainian novelist who writes in Russian. He is the author of 13 novels and 5 books for children. His work is currently translated into 25 languages, including English, Japanese, French, Italian, Chinese, Swedish and Hebrew. He has also written assorted articles for various publications worldwide.

His books are full of black humour, post-Soviet reality and elements of surrealism.

Life and works[edit]

Kurkov's father was a test pilot and his mother was a doctor.[1] He started writing at the age of seven when after the death of two of his three pet hamsters, he wrote a poem about the loneliness of the remaining pet. He also produced poetry about Lenin, purportedly inspired by his Soviet education at the time.

As a trained Japanese translator Kurkov was assigned military service assisting the KGB.[1] However, he managed to get his papers changed to service with the military police. This offered him a greater degree of freedom during and after his service period. He was assigned a prison guard position in Odessa. It was during this period that Kurkov wrote all of his children's stories.

Kurkov's first novel was published two weeks before the fall of the Soviet Union, and in the ensuing social and political turmoil he made the first steps towards self-publishing and distribution. Borrowing money from friends to fund his work he managed to publish independently.[1] While organising distribution around Ukraine, he would also sell copies by hand from stalls on busy streets.

Like many successful writers, Kurkov had difficulty getting his first publishing contract. He reportedly received 500 rejections before being accepted, in which time he had written almost eight complete novels.

Later in his career he won acclaim as one of the most successful Ukrainian authors in the post-Soviet era and featuring on European bestseller lists.

Bibliography[edit]

Novels
Book name ISBN (Paperback)[2] Publication year
Death and the Penguin ISBN 978-1-86046-945-9 (ISBN 1860469450) 2001
Penguin Lost ISBN 9780099461692(ISBN 0099461692) 2010
A Matter of Death and Life ISBN 9780099461586(ISBN 0099461587) 2010
The Case of the General's Thumb ISBN 9780099455257(ISBN 0099455250) 2009
The World of Mr Big Forehead
The President's Last Love ISBN 9780099485049(ISBN 0099485044) 2009
The Good Angel of Death ISBN 9780099513490(ISBN 0099513498) 2010
The Milkman in the Night ISBN 9781846553981(ISBN 1846553989) 2011
The Gardener from Ochakov ISBN 9781846556159(ISBN 1846556155) 2013
Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev ISBN 9781846559471 2014
For children
  • The Adventures of Baby Vacuum Cleaner Gosha

References[edit]

External links[edit]