Mikhail Shishkin

Mihail Shishkin was born in Moscow in 1961. After completing his studies in English and German, he moved to Switzerland in 1995, where he worked as a translator. He appeared in literature in the early 90s and was immediately noticed as an outstanding literary talent. Already for the first story, „Calligraphy Lesson“, he received the best debutant award. In 1999, he won an award for the novel The Taking of Izmail, while the books Russian Switzerland and Montreux - Missolunghi - Astapovo: Tracing Byron and Tolstoy, a literary walk from Lake Geneva to the Bern Alps received prestigious Swiss and French awards for nonfiction. But Shishkin gained wider recognition only by winning the prestigious National Bestseller award for the novel Maidenhair (2005), a sophisticated prose about language, that is, about storytelling, and by winning the Big Book award, which he received in 2011 for the novel Pismovnik. Shishkin is known as a „neo-modernist“ who studies language in depth while maintaining lucid and clear linguistic expression. With his choice of topics, he shows that he does not agree to the dictates of fashionable thematization of the time and space in which he lives, and is instead preoccupied with timeless questions of love, the meaning of life and death.

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