Tolstaya, Tatyana (Nikitichna) 1951-

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TOLSTAYA, Tatyana (Nikitichna) 1951-

(Tatiana Tolstaia)

PERSONAL: Some sources cite "Nikitchna" or "Nikitinichna"; given name sometimes transliterated as Tatiana; surname is sometimes transliterated as "Tolstaia"; born May 3, 1951, in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), USSR (now Russia); daughter of Nikita Alexsevich (a professor of physics) and Natalia Michailovna (Lozinskaya) Tolstoy; married Andrej Lebedev (a professor of philology), May 11, 1974; children: Artemij Andreevich, Alexej Andreevich. Education: Leningrad State University, graduated, 1974. Religion: Russian Orthodox.

ADDRESSES: Home—Bolshaya Polianka 37, No. 2, 109180 Moscow, Russia. Agent—Andrew Wylie, 250 W. 57th St., Ste. 2106, New York, NY 10107.

CAREER: Nauka (publishing house), Moscow, USSR (now Russia), junior editor in Oriental literature department, 1974–83; University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, writer-in-residence, 1988; University of Texas—Austin, senior lecturer in Russian literature, 1989; Texas Tech University, Lubbock, writer-in-residence, 1990; writer and editor, 1990–.

MEMBER: PEN International.

WRITINGS:

Na zolotom kryl'se sideli (short stories), Molodaia gvardiia (Moscow, Russia), 1987, translation by Antonina W. Bouis published as On the Golden Porch, Knopf (New York, NY), 1989.

Sleepwalker in a Fog (short stories), translated by Jamey Gambrell, Knopf (New York, NY), 1992.

Liubish'-ne liubish', Olma-Press (Moscow, Russia), 1997.

(With Nataliia Tolstaya) Sestry, Podkova (Moscow, Russia), 1998.

Reka Okkervil': rasskazy, Podkova (Moscow, Russia), 1999.

(Author of introduction) Andrei Platonov, The Fierce and Beautiful World: Stories, New York Review of Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Noch': rasskazy, Podkova (Moscow, Russia), 2001.

Den': lichnoe (essays), Podkova (Moscow, Russia), 2001.

Kys' (novel), Inostranka (Moscow, Russia), 2001, translated by Jamey Gambrell as The Slynx, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.

Izium: otbornoe, Eksmo-Press (Moscow, Russia), 2002.

Pushkin's Children: Writings on Russia and Russians, translated by Jamey Gambrell, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.

Work represented in anthologies, including The New Soviet Fiction: Sixteen Short Stories, edited by Sergei Zalygin, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1989. Contributor of articles to periodicals, including New Yorker and Znamia.

SIDELIGHTS: In her collection of short stories On the Golden Porch, the great grand-niece of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy probes the disparity between a dreamfilled future and mundane reality. Tatyana Tolstaya's characters, who are both bored with and threatened by the present, set their sights on distant, elusive, or imaginary objects. When these objects inevitably prove to be unattainable, her characters are disillusioned but not devoid of hope. Life, though often "treacherous, mocking, meaningless, alien," is still "marvelous, marvelous, marvelous," Tatyana concludes in one story, as quoted by Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times. Kakutani called On the Golden Porch "luminous," adding that "Tolstaya is an enormously gifted writer and this volume is a dazzling debut."

Tolstaya once told CA: "I am permanently interested in Russian literature, old and contemporary. I am inspired by Russian and European folklore, the Old Testament, and crazy contemporary life."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century, Volume 4, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999, pp. 330-331.

Goscilo, Helena, editor, Heritage and Heresy: Recent Fiction by Russian Women, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1988.

Goscilo, Helena, editor, Balancing Acts: Contemporary Stories by Russian Women, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1989.

PERIODICALS

American Book Review, November, 1990, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 20.

Belles Lettres, spring, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 30.

Bloomsbury Review, July, 1990, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 25.

Booklist, February 1, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 1013.

Economist, March 17, 2001, review of Kys', p. 88.

Guardian Weekly, June 7, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 146.

Hudson Review, winter, 1990, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 663.

Indiana Slavic Studies, Volume 5, 1990, Helena Goscilo, "Paradise, Purgatory, and Post-Mortems in the World of Tatyana Tolstaya," pp. 97-113.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 1991, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 1373.

Library Journal, December, 1991, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 202.

London Review of Books, August 20, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 20.

Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1992, Denise Hamilton, "A Literary Heiress," p. E1; September 27, 1992, Bill Thomas, "My Dinner with Vassily and Tatyana," p. 26.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, June 17, 1990, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 10; January 19, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 3; May 23, 1993, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 11.

New Republic, April 6, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 36.

New Statesman, May 1, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 40.

New Yorker, December 14, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 134.

New York Review of Books, May 14, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 44.

New York Times, April 25, 1989, Michiko Kakutani, review of On the Golden Porch.

New York Times Book Review, April 22, 1990, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 42; January 12, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 7.

Observer (London, England), May 13, 1990, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 59; May 3, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 55.

Publishers Weekly, February 9, 1990, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 57; November 15, 1991, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 61; January 1, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 37.

Slavic and East European Journal, Volume 34, number 1, 1990, Helena Goscilo, "Tolstajan Love as Surface Text," pp. 40-52.

Slavic Review, Volume 47, number 2, 1988, Helena Goscilo, "Tatyana Tolstaya's 'Dome of Many-Coloured Glass': The World Refracted through Multiple Perspectives," pp. 180-190; fall, 1991, review of On the Golden Porch, p. 683.

Studies in Comparative Communism, Volume 21, numbers 3-4, 1988, A. Barker, "Are Women Writing Women's Writing in the Soviet Union Today?: Tolstaya and Grekova," pp. 357-364.

Time, January 27, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 60.

Times Literary Supplement, May 1, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 20.

Village Voice, February 18, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 69.

Washington Post Book World, February 9, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 5.

World and I, August, 1992, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 332.

World Literature Today, winter, 1993, review of Sleepwalker in a Fog, p. 206.

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Tolstaya, Tatyana (Nikitichna) 1951-

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