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A Conversation with Boris Akunin – Russia: Its Past, Present and Future (in Russian)

Friday 29 April, 2022, 18:00

In the first two decades of the twenty-first century, Chkhartishvili published over sixty books. His series featuring the tsarist secret policeman Erast Fandorin has sold over 20 million books in Russia alone, making Akunin one of the bestselling authors of the post-Soviet era. Combining intertextuality, allusions, pastiche, and other markers of postmodern playfulness, many of Akunin’s works have been translated into English and have also been adapted for film and television.

Chkhartishvili is also known as a prominent critic of the Russian authorities, Vladimir Putin in particular, and was one of the leaders of the 2011-12 protests in Moscow. He emigrated from Russia in 2014 in the wake of the annexation of Crimea, and now spends most of his time abroad.

For the last ten years, Grigorii Chkhartishvili has focused on his big project, “The History of the Russian State”, which, he claims, is “non-ideological”, based solely on facts. Each of the nine volumes is accompanied by a book of fiction set in the same period, where numerous allusions to modern Russia are easily recognisable. No wonder that the topic of our conversation with the author is “Russia: Its Past, Present and Future”.

Our conversation with Boris Akunin will be led by Dr Jana Howlett, Emerita Lecturer in Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge and Emerita Fellow of Jesus College. Jana is a historian specialising in medieval and modern Russian art and culture.

All proceeds will be split between the fundraising campaign “Настоящая Россия” (“True Russia Against the War”) and our own charity’s new dedicated fund to provide targeted help for those fleeing the war in Ukraine and their host families.

WHEN: Friday 29 April, 18:00 – 20:00

WHERE: Paula Browne House Lecture Theatre, Murray Edwards College, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0SH


TICKETS: CamRuSS members / Concessions (Students, Children under 16, Senior Citizens) – £15; Non-members – £20. Book via AllEvents only.

Read and listen to Boris Akunin’s recent interview (17 March 2022) with BBC News – Русская служба here.

You might also be interested to watch “Mysteries of the Russian Empire: Boris Akunin in conversation with Boyd Tonkin” (hosted by the British Library) via YouTube here.

View Boris Akunin’s personal website and (now archived) personal blog.

Boris Akunin’s books are available to buy on Amazon and at Waterstones, among many others.

Boris Akunin appeared on “World Book Club” on the BBC World Service in 2011. Listen via BBC Sounds here.


Friday 29 April, 2022
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Paula Browne House Lecture Theatre
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge, CB3 0SH
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