Vladimir Sorokin

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Vladimir Sorokin
Vladimir sorokin 20060313-2.jpg
Born (1955-08-07) 7 August 1955 (age 64)
Bykovo, Moscow Oblast
Literary movementPostmodernism

Vladimir Georgiyevich Sorokin (Russian: Влади́мир Гео́ргиевич Соро́кин; born 7 August 1955) is a contemporary postmodern Russian writer and dramatist, one of the most popular in modern Russian literature.[1][2]


Sorokin was born on 7 August 1955 in Bykovo, Moscow Oblast, near Moscow. In 1972 he made his literary debut with a publication in the newspaper Za kadry neftyanikov (Russian: За кадры нефтяников, For the workers in the petroleum industry). He studied at the Gubkin Institute of Oil and Gas in Moscow and graduated in 1977 as an engineer.

After graduation he worked for one year for the magazine Shift (Russian: Смена, Smena), before he had to leave due to his refusal to become a member of the Komsomol.

Throughout the 1970s, Sorokin participated in a number of art exhibitions and designed and illustrated nearly 50 books. Sorokin's development as a writer took place amidst painters and writers of the Moscow underground scene of the 1980s. In 1985, six of Sorokin's stories appeared in the Paris magazine A-Ya. In the same year, French publisher Syntaxe published his novel Ochered' (The Queue).

Sorokin's works, bright and striking examples of underground culture, were banned during the Soviet period. His first publication in the USSR appeared in November 1989, when the Riga-based Latvian magazine Rodnik (Spring) presented a group of Sorokin's stories. Soon after, his stories appeared in Russian literary miscellanies and magazines Tretya Modernizatsiya (The Third Modernization), Mitin Zhurnal (Mitya's Journal), Konets Veka (End of the Century), and Vestnik Novoy Literatury (Bulletin of the New Literature). In 1992, Russian publishing house Russlit published Sbornik Rasskazov (Collected Stories) – Sorokin's first book to be nominated for a Russian Booker Prize.[3] In September 2001, Vladimir Sorokin received the People's Booker Prize; two months later, he was presented with the Andrei Bely Prize for outstanding contributions to Russian literature. In 2002, there was a protest against his book Blue Bacon Fat, and he was investigated for pornography.[4]

Sorokin's books have been translated into English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Polish, Japanese, Serbian, Korean, Romanian, Estonian, Slovak, Czech, Hungarian, Croatian and Slovenian, and are available through a number of prominent publishing houses, including Gallimard, Fischer, DuMont, BV Berlin, Haffman, Mlinarec & Plavic and Verlag der Autoren.

One of his recent novels, Day of the Oprichnik, describes a dystopian Russia in 2027, with a Tzar in the Kremlin, a Russian language with numerous Chinese expressions, and a "Great Russian Wall" separating the country from its neighbors.[5][6][7] He was awarded in 2015 the Premio Gregor von Rezzori for this novel.[8]



  • Ochered ("The Queue") (1983). Paris: Syntaxe, 1985. (English translation by Sally Laird, 1988.) ISBN 978-0-930523-44-2 Reprinted in New York Review Books Classics, 2008. ISBN 9781590172742
  • Norma ("The Norm") (1979–1983). Moscow: Tri Kita in cooperation with Obscuri Viri, 1994.
  • Roman ("A Novel") (1985–1989). Moscow: Tri Kita in cooperation with Obscuri Viri, 1994.
  • Tridtsataia liubov' Mariny ("Marina’s Thirtieth Love") (1982–1984). Moscow: Izdanie R. Elinina, 1995.
  • Serdtsa chetyryokh ("Four Stout Hearts") (1991). Moscow: Literary Miscellany Konets Veka, 1994.
  • Pervy Subbotnik ("The First Saturday Workday") (1979–1984). In Collected Works in Two Volumes. Moscow: Ad Marginem, 1998.
  • Goluboe Salo ("Blue Salo") (1999). Moscow: Ad Marginem, 1999.
  • Pir ("The Feast") (2000). Moscow: Ad Marginem, 2000.
  • Lyod ("Ice") (2002). Moscow: Ad Marginem, 2002. (English translation by Jamey Gambrell, 2007.) ISBN 1-59017-195-0
  • Put' Bro ("Bro") (2004). Moscow: Zakharov Books, 2004.
  • 23,000 (2005). Moscow: Zakharov Books, 2005.
  • Ice Trilogy (Bro, Ice, and 23,000 published together in one volume). Reprinted in New York Review Books Classics, 2011. (English translation by Jamey Gambrell.) ISBN 978-1590173862
  • Den' oprichnika ("Day of the Oprichnik") (2006). Moscow: Zakharov Books, 2006. (English translation by Jamey Gambrell, 2010.) ISBN 978-0374134754
  • Zaplyv ("Swimming in"). Moscow: AST, 2008.
  • Saharniy Kreml' ("Kremlin Made of Sugar"). Moscow: AST, 2008.
  • Telluriya ("Telluria"). Moscow: AST, 2013.
  • Metel' ("The Blizzard"). Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. (English translation by Jamey Gambrell.) ISBN 978-0374114374
  • Manaraga. 2017.


  • Pelmeni (1984–1987)
  • Zemlyanka ("The Hut") (1985)
  • Russkaya babushka ("Russian Grandmother") (1988)
  • Doverie ("Confidence") (1989)
  • Dismorphomania (1990)
  • Yubiley ("Anniversary") (1993)
  • Hochzeitsreise ("The Post-Nuptial Journey") (1994–1995)
  • Shchi ("Cabbage Soup") (1995–1996)
  • Dostoevsky-Trip (1997)
  • S Novym Godom ("Happy New Year") (1998)

Film scripts[edit]

  • Bezumny Fritz ("Mad Fritz") (1994). Directors: Tatiana Didenko and Alexander Shamaysky.
  • Moskva ("Moscow") (2001). Director: Alexander Zeldovich. First Prize in the festival in Bonn; Award of Federation of Russian Film-Clubs for best Russian movie of the year.
  • Cashfire (2002). Director: Alexander Schurikhin.
  • Kopeyka ("Kopeck") (2002). Director: Ivan Dykhovichny. Nomination for Zolotoy Oven Award for best film script.
  • Veshch ("Thing") (2002). Director: Ivan Dykhovichny.
  • 4 (Four) (2004). Director: Ilya Khrzhanovsky. Grand Jury Prize of International Film Festival Rotterdam.
  • Mishen ("Target") (2011). Director: Alexander Zeldovich.

Other works[edit]

  • Photograph album V glub' rossii ("In the Depths of Russia"), in cooperation with painter Oleg Kulik.
  • Libretto for opera Deti Rozentalya ("The Children of Rosenthal'"), with music by Leonid Desyatnikov; written on request of the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow.
  • Dozens of stories published in Russian and foreign periodicals.


  1. ^ russianwriters.eu
  2. ^ nybooks.com
  3. ^ wordswithoutborders.org
  4. ^ "Russian satirist sued over 'gay Stalin'". BBC News. 11 July 2002.
  5. ^ dursthoff.de
  6. ^ Sam Munson (11 February 2011). "Vladimir Sorokin: Of human brutality". The National.
  7. ^ Stephen Kotkin (11 March 2011). "A Dystopian Tale of Russia's Future". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "2015 Winners". Festival degli Scrittori - Premio Gregor von Rezzori. Retrieved 3 October 2016.

External links[edit]