Vladimir Sorokin

Vladimir Sorokin, who was born on August 7th 1955, is a post-modern Russian storyteller and dramatist and one of the most popular writers in contemporary Russian literature, famous for The Ice Trilogy.

Having grown up in Moscow, he studied at the Gubkin Institute of Oil and Gas and graduated as an engineer. He moved into illustrating books, and his development as a writer took place among the artists and writers of the Moscow underground scene of the 1980s. His early works were banned during the Soviet period, but in 2001 he won the Russian Booker prize.

His work has been translated into about 20 languages. His best known book in English is Days of the Oprichnik, which is set in Moscow in 2028, when the city has been sealed off from Europe by a Great Wall and is ruled by a latterday Ivan the Terrible, who is protected by “oprichniki”, the black-clad secret police whose main job is eliminating Ivan’s enemies. A workaday tale of rape, arson and murder, it was described by Stephen Kotkin in the New York Times Book Review as coming “across almost as extended performance art in its evocative rituals and bizarreness.”