Born on April 23, 1961 in Budogoshch of the Leningrad region (Russia), Andriy Kurkov is a writer, journalist and screenwriter.
From an early childhood he lives in Kyiv. In 1983 he graduated from the Kiev State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages (now Kyiv National Linguistic University). From 1985 to 1987 he served as a guard at the Odesa Correctional Colony №51.
Kurkov graduated from the School of Japanese Translators. He worked as an editor of the “Dnipro” Publishing House, was a screenwriter at the Dovzhenko Film Studio, and a lecturer at the Bell College (Cambridge, England). Since 1988, he is a member of the English PEN Centre. Andrii Kurkov is a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine (since 1993) and National Writers’ Union (since 1994). Since 1998 he is a member of the European Film Academy and a permanent member of the jury of the European Film Academy Felix Award. In 2011, he was elected as a member of the jury of the literary contest “Yune slovo”. He is married to Elizabeth Sharp (consultant at the British Council in Ukraine) and has three children.
Professional Writer’s Career
Kurkov started writing in senior school.
Now he is the author of 13 novels and 5 books for children. More than 20 feature films and documentaries are based on his scripts. Kurkov is the only writer in post-Soviet countries, whose books have reached the top ten European bestsellers. Over 150 thousand copies of his most popular novel “Death and the Penguin” were sold in Ukraine — more than any other book of any other contemporary Ukrainian writer. Kurkov’s books are translated into 36 languages.
The story “Last landing, or one day from the life of the inner organ” reminds of the story of the unprecedented disappearance in 1994 of the head of the Secretariat of the People’s Movement in Ukraine Mykhailo Boichyshyn, whose idea of diversifying sources of energy to Ukraine using oil supply to the Odessa-Brody pipeline caused the perturbation of those who benefited from multi-million dollar profits from the fact that Ukraine wasn’t energy independent.
In early 2005, Andriy Kurkov became a persona non grata in Russia. The distribution of his books was discontinued on the territory of the Russian Federation, and the affiliation with his “Petersburg’s writer” Publishing House in Russia was terminated. One of the possible reasons for such events, according to Kurkov, were his speeches in the press during the Orange Revolution which conveyed negative assessment regarding Russia’s official policy and its interference in the course of the 2004 election in Ukraine.
Since the end of the last millennium, all Russian-language works of Kurkov in Ukraine have been published by the “Folio: Publishing House (Kharkiv). Since 2005, all ‘adult’ Kurkov in Russia is published by the “Amfora” Publishing House (St. Petersburg).
In Russia I’m a bit like a foreigner and becoming more and more so. Andriy Kurkov, “Soviet people are like penguins” // “Gazeta po-ukrainsky”.
“Don’t Lead Me to Kengarags”, 1991
“11 Extraordinaries from the Life of Flapdoodlers, theTir Friends and Acquaintances” (children’s book), 1991; Ukrainian transl. 2003
“The Bickford Fuse”, 1993
“Death and the Penguin”, 1996; German transl. 1997; Ukrainian transl. 2000; Polish transl. 2004
“The Good Angel of Death”, 1997; Ukrainian transl. 2009; Polish transl. 2010
“The Case of the General’s Thumb”, 2000
“Geography of a Single Shot” Trilogy: Book 1: “Legend of a Truly People’s Controller”; Book 2: “The Fate of a Parrot”; Book 3: “A Bullet Had Found a Hero”; 2000
“Dear Friend, the Fellow of the Deceased”, 2001
“Penguin Lost”, 2002, (sequel to the novel “Death and the Penguin”); Polish transl. 2009
“Gardens of Mr. Michurin”, 2002
“Adult Games”: political detective in 2 volumes, 2003
“The President’s Last Love”, 2004; Ukrainian transl. 2005; Polish transl. 2007
“The Subtle Mathematics of Passion”, 2004; Ukrainian transl. 2005
“The Favourite Song of a Cosmopolitan”, 2005; Ukrainian transl. 2005
“The Adventures of the Flapdoodlers” (children’s book), 2006
“The School of Cat-air-swimming” (children’s book), 2007; Ukrainian transl. 2007
“The Adventures of Baby Vacuum Cleaner Gosha” (children’s book), 2008
“The Milkman in the Night”, 2007; Ukrainian transl. 2008
“The Gardener from Ochakov”, 2010
“Trout a la tenderness”, 2011
“Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv”, 2012
1990 — Exit
1991 — Pit
1992 — Sunday’s Escape
1992 — Night about Love
1993 — Champs Elysees
1993 — Blot
1996 — Death and the Penguin
1997 — Fellow of the Deceased