Owen Matthews

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Owen Matthews (born 1971) is a British writer, historian and journalist. His first book, Stalin's Children, was shortlisted for the 2008 Guardian First Books Award,[1] the Orwell Prize for political writing,[2] and France's Prix Medicis Etranger[3] His books have been translated into 28 languages. He is a former Moscow and Istanbul Bureau Chief for Newsweek Magazine. Matthews has lectured on Russian history and politics at Columbia University's Harriman Centre,[4] St Antony's College Oxford,[5] and the Journalism Faculty of Moscow State University.


Owen Matthews was born in London in 1971. He was educated at Westminster School and studied Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford.[6]


During the Bosnian War, Matthews worked as foreign correspondent in Budapest, Sarajevo and Belgrade.[6][7] From 1995–7 he worked as a reporter on The Moscow Times. In 1997 he joined Newsweek Magazine's Moscow Bureau as a correspondent, covering the Second Chechen war. In 2001 he moved to Turkey, reporting from Turkey, the Caucasus, Syria and Iran, and also covering the invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq.[6][8] From 2006 to 2012 he was Newsweek's Moscow Bureau Chief; he is now a Contributing Editor at the magazine.[6]


  • Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love and War (Bloomsbury, 2008), a memoir of three generations of Matthews' family in Russia, was named as a Book of the Year by The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph.[9][10]
  • Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of Russian America (Bloomsbury 2013), a history of Imperial Russia's doomed attempt to colonise America, was shortlisted for the 2014 Pushkin House Prize[11] for books on Russia.[12][13][14][15]
  • Moscou Babylone (Les Escales, 2013), a novel based on Matthews' experiences in Moscow in the 1990s, has been published in French,[16] German[17] and Czech. It was chosen as the 'coup de coeur etranger' (favorite foreign book) at the 2013 Nancy Literary Festival, Le Livre sur la Place.[18]
  • Thinking with the Blood (Newsweek, 2014), a personal reportage based on a journey across war-torn Ukraine in the late summer of 2014, was published as an ebook.[citation needed]


Matthews co-wrote the 2015 Russian television series Londongrad and played an episodic role in it.[19]


External links[edit]

  • Newsweek Magazine author page [1]
  • Spectator Magazine author page [2]
  • Pushkin House Prize author interview [3]
  • Guardian First Books Award author interview [4]
  • Nancy Literary Festival author interview [5]
  • Huffington Post author interview [6]
  • Forbes Magazine article on Matthews' Russia coverage [7]