Elvira Baryakina

Elvira Baryakina


Elvira Baryakina was born in 1975 in Gorky, USSR, which is now called Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, into a family that spent their time and money on books. Her childhood fell during the Era of Stagnation. Her youth fell during Perestroika, the Time of Change. She pursued and earned a law degree, practiced law, and taught at the university, but after moving to the USA in 2002, she renounced her legal career and became a full-time writer.

Elvira has always been fascinated with history at the turn of the 20th century with its Art Nouveau and Art Deco aesthetics, ideas clashes, and social disturbance. She describes her profession as a cross between archeology and alchemy. From dusty volumes, she extracts long ago forgotten memoirs, mixes countless ingredients, and keeps searching for the Philosopher’s Stone.

She travels to the places mentioned in her novels—China, Argentina, Russia—thoroughly researches the sources, walks on “those same streets” and breathes in “that same air”. Her every novel is a chain of amazing, sometimes eye-opening discoveries, and she can’t wait to share them with her readers—that’s why she spends her life writing.

Elvira lives in Southern California, USA, with her husband and son and writes in Russian, though she is fluent in English. She is the author of ten novels, three children’s books, and one writing handbook.