Mikhail Shishkin’s Public Lectures in London

February 23, 2014
Mikhail Shishkin’s Public Lectures in London Mikhail Shishkin is considered to be one of Russia's greatest contemporary writers. His first novel One Night Befalls Us All published in the Russian literary journal Znamia in 1993 was named “the best literary debut of the year”. Every next novel written by Shishkin has gone on to win him major Russian book awards: the Russian Booker in 2000 for The Taking of IshmaelNational Bestseller in 2005 and Big Book Award for Maidenhair, and the 2011 Big Book Award for Letter-Book, which won Big Book’s top jury and reader awards.

Shishkin’s literary style is recognized by his nonlinear use of space and time, while his lucid and rich language follows in the steps of Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov. Writing on universal themes like death and resurrection, happiness and love, Shiskin managed to attract readers in many countries; his books have been translated into 25 languages.

English translation of Maidenhair (Open book) appeared late 2013 in Marian Schwartz's translation. The book contains much of the writer’s personal experience from his time as an interpreter for the Swiss immigration authorities. The Light and the Dark (Quercus), the original title being Letter-book, translated by Andrew Bromfield, has been readily available in bookstores since January 2014.

The author holds strong views on Russian politics shaped by the time he spends between Switzerland, Germany and Russia. In his lectures at Kings College, London in March 2014 Mikhail Shishkin will examine the connection between classical Russian literature and Russian politics, and share his personal experience of being a Russian writer in Switzerland.

Lectures timetable

Wednesday 5 March 2014 | 7 pm
Venue: Safra Lecture Theatre, Kings College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Translating into the language of language on the Swiss-Russian border
Mikhail Shishkin speaks about his books and being a Russian writer in Switzerland.

Tuesday 11 March 2014 | 7 pm
Venue: Safra Lecture Theatre, Kings College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Of Living Noses and Dead Souls
Nikolai Gogol and his attempt to write “a new Bible”

19 March 2014 | 7 pm
Venue: Room K4U.12, Kings College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Suicide by Sofa
Ivan Goncharov and the pen´s victory over its writer Wednesday

Tuesday 25 March 2014 | 7 pm
Venue: Room K4U.12, Kings College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

“Why the devil was I born in Russia, with brains and talent!” (Alexander Pushkin)
Literature and politics in contemporary Russia 

Lectures will be given in English