Alexander Ilichevsky was born in Sumgait, Azerbaijan in 1970 and graduated in theoretical physics from a technological institute affiliated to Moscow University. He is the author of many literary works in various genres, both poetry and prose, all of which have been published in Russia’s most prestigious literary journals and all to great literary acclaim.
His novel Matiss, dedicated to all those born in 1970, like the author himself, won him the Russian Booker Prize in 2007. This outstanding achievement is not only testament to Ilichevsky’s great talent as a writer, but also to the fact that Russian literature is alive and flourishing today, perhaps as never before. His recent novel The Persian was awarded the Second Big Book Prize in 2010.
He is currently working as a web-editor in Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Corporation. ‘In my view,' Ilichevsky has said, ‘all prose should follow the laws of poetry. That's not to say that everything needs to be forced into rhythmic periods or blank verse. No, the main thing is that the entire story should contain the same depth and inscrutability as a poem'. (Source: Academia-Rossica)
Like the wandering hero of his 2007 novel, “Matisse”, Ilichevsky was a theoretical physicist who abandoned science. He also has an urge to explore everything, from mountains to rail depots. The main character in his latest novel, published this year, is a successful businessman who moves to a quiet town on the Oka River to paint. So far only short extracts from Ilichevsky’s novels are available in English.