Anna Starobinets

Anna Starobinets


  • The Living


Anna Starobinets is one of a handful of Russian authors who writes in the genre of 'intellectual fantasy'.

She was born in Moscow in 1978 and graduated in philology at Moscow State University. As a student she worked part time in several different fields, from simultaneous translation and private tutoring, to billposting and waitressing. After her finishing her degree she started work in journalism. She has worked with the leading Russian newspapers, including, Argumenty i Fakty, Expert and Russky reporter, as a reviewer, reporter as well as the culture section editor.

In 2005 Starobinets published her debut collection of mystical short stories Awkward Age and from then on she has been called by critics 'the queen of Russian horror'. This was followed by her first fantasy novel Asylum a year later. Starobinets has written several more collections of short stories, as well as a novella for children, The Land of Good Girls. Her latest novel First Squad: The Truth is based on the Russo-Japanese feature length animation of the same name.

Her anti-utopian fantasy novel The Living published by AST in 2001 was welcome with favorable reviews.


February 27, 2014
The writing of Anna Starobinets has been compared with that of a host of literary greats, including Edgar Allan Poe and George Orwell. Yet the young Russian author is still only 33.

Her literary career was launched with a horror anthology called An Awkward Age. The title story features a little boy who was so fat and awful that he repulsed even his own mother. She finds a diary in the boy’s handwriting which reveals that a queen ant residing in his mind is laying bare her insidious plan: to capture the boy’s body and then