Andrey Kurkov [Ukraine]

 

Guest 2015, 2017

Bibliography

Picknick auf dem Eis

Diogenes

Zürich, 1999

[Ü: Christa Vogel]

Petrowitsch

Diogenes

Zürich, 2002

[Ü: Christa Vogel]

Die letzte Liebe des Präsidenten

Diogenes

Zürich, 2007

[Ü: Sabine Grebing]

Der wahrhaftige Volkskontrolleur

Haymon

Innsbruck, 2011

[Ü: Kerstin Monschein]

Der unbeugsame Papagei

Haymon

Innsbruck, 2013

[Ü: Sabine Grebing]

Ukrainisches Tagebuch
Aufzeichnungen aus dem Herzen des Protests

Haymon

Innsbruck, 2014

[Ü: Steffen Beilich]

Jimi Hendrix live in Lemberg

Diogenes

Zürich, 2014

[Ü: Johanna Marx und Sabine Grebing]

Die Kugel auf dem Weg zum Helden

Haymon

Innsbruck, 2015

[Ü: Claudia Dathe]

Die Welt des Herrn Bickford

Haymon

Innsbruck, 2017

[Ü: Claudia Dathe]

Biography

Andrey Kurkov was born in Budugošč’ near St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) in 1961. He graduated from the National Pedagogical Institute for Foreign Languages in Kiev in 1983, and subsequently pursued a range of different occupations.

Kurkov started writing when still at school, and has composed nineteen novels and nine children’s books to date. His early works, including »Smert’ postoronnego« (1996; Eng. »Death and the Penguin«, 2010), »Dobryj angel smerti« (2000; Eng. »The Good Angel of Death«, 2009), and »Milyj drug, tovarišč pokojnika« (2001; Eng. »A Friend of the Deceased«, 1997) are thrillers and dynamic portrayals of the city of Kiev in the post-Perestroika period. Here the heroes are animals or lonely and marginalized figures who become embroiled in extreme situations and who fail in a demoralized and selfish society. Kurkov tells his detective stories in a – given the genre – atypically calm narrative flow, and in a predominantly melancholic mood. He also writes social novels that raise political and philosophical questions. »Poslednjaja ljubov’ presidenta« (2005; Eng. »The President’s Last Love«, 2009) is about the fictitious Ukrainian President Bunin, whose ability to act fails him while he becomes the plaything of his advisors. The grotesque tale refers to the dubious figures in recent Ukrainian history − Victor Juščenko and Julia Timošenko. His novel »Nočnoj moločnik« (2007; Eng. »The Milkman in the Night«, 2011) once again reflects the absurdities of Kievan daily life as experienced by the Ukranian middle class, living in the capital’s suburbs, who try to stay afloat by offering all kinds of services. Oscillating between reality and fantasy, »Skazanie ob istinno narodnom kontrolere« (tr. The People’s Controller) tells of Pavel Dobrynin, who is unexpectedly elected the »People’s Controller for Life for the entire Soviet Union«. On his travels he meets an array of colorful characters, including an angel, who has deserted from Heaven in order to find a just Soviet citizen, because there are none in heaven. »Ukrainisches Tagebuch. Aufzeichnungen aus dem Herzen des Protests« (2014; Eng. »Ukraine Diaries. Dispatches from Kiev«, 2014) is a first-hand account of the Euromaidan crisis and also contains the author’s notes, spanning a period of thirty years.

Kurkov’s novels have been translated into many languages, including German, French and Spanish. He has received numerous awards, including the Nikolai Gogol Prize in Rome (2012) and the Readers’ Choice Award at the European Book Festival in Cognac. He has also written more than twenty screenplays and has worked for the state-owned film studio A. Dovženko in Kiev. Kurkov lives in Kiev and is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna.