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 Boris Akunin

Born:   20 May 1956



Boris Akunin enjoys being the most successful commercial writer on the Russian literature market today. His detective novels imbued with meticulous model-like characters can be seen at almost every Russian magazine stand these days.

Japan culture historian, theorist of literature and translator, Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili was born on May 20, 1956 in Georgia. When he turned two years old his family moved to Moscow where he is still living. His father was an artillerist and his mother a teacher of Russian literature and language.

Oleg Menshikov as Fandorin in Civil Counselor Movie When a boy Grigory read a few Japanese books that impressed him and later, in youth, he saw the Kabuki theatre - and fell in love with Japan. He entered the History and Philology Department of the Institute of Asian and African Countries of Moscow State University and engaged in studying Japanese literature and culture. The writer to be, Grigory translated works by Ukio Misima, Malcolm Bradbury, Kobo Abe, Peter Ustinov, and others. He also published his essays in the Foreign Literature Journal which he later became the deputy editor-in-chief of (he left this post in 2000). The year 1998 saw two events stealing into the realm of Russian literature: the Chkhartishvili's pseudonym mask 'Boris Akunin' and his first book including novels Azazel and The Turkish Gambit. However, Akunin's debut was marred by the unapt cover of the edition - so, the book was not well sold. As soon as the current stylish design of the cover was introduced - with collages of works by German artist Max Ernst - the business started getting better. The screen versions of Akunin's works contributed well to the author's success. These were: Azazel (2001) directed by Alexander Adabashyan, The Turkish Gambit (2004) by Dganik Fayziev and Civil Counselor /Statsky sovetnik (2005) by Philip Yankovsky.

“F.M.” Book Cover Apart from the novels and stories from Adventures of Erast Fandorin that brought him fame, Akunin created the series Adventures of Sister Pelagia, Adventures of the Grandmaster, and Genres and compiled the collection of the most notable Western fictions Remedy from Boredom. Akunin is also the author of the remake of Chekhov's Seagull/Chaika, where he investigates eight versions of Trigorin's murder (as alternative to the suicide of the origin's character) and of the collected political satire stories Tales for Idiots. Akunin published a fundamental research Writer and Suicide under his real name. 'I can cook any compote of historic dried facts but I must know very well what it was like in reality. Besides, it is interesting, and reading memoirs, diaries, and archive documents is the most absorbing part of work'- the writer says.

Boris Akunin In addition to his writing activities Akunin is fond of traveling and computer games. In spite of the fact that the penname 'Akunin' is translated from Japanese as 'evil man' or 'evil spirit' fashion for Akunin's books and their protagonists of positive nature has reached heights incredible for Russian detectives. And in 2000 there appeared site offering all comers free access to full on-line selected works (with many of them accompanied by relative computer games) by the courtesy of the author. The abovementioned facts make one believe that suspense fiction writer Chkhartishvili with the penname Akunin is good rather than evil. Do you want to judge it for yourself? Translations of the fashionable Russian detectives are available in English, German and French.



Vera Ivanova and Mikhail Manykin



Tags: Russian literature Russian writers    

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