Maria Stepanova became an internationally-recognized name in literature thanks to her Booker Prize-shortlisted, genre-defying work. In Russia, she has been revered as one of the most important poets of the post-Soviet generation for years. In Memory of Memory is a response to Stepanova’s own lived experience, sifting through faded photographs, old postcards, letters, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs to tell the story of how her seemingly ordinary Jewish family somehow managed to survive the myriad persecutions and repressions of the last century. In dialogue with writers like Roland Barthes, W. G. Sebald, Susan Sontag, and Osip Mandelstam, Stepanova’s work is a rare gift. The author speaks with poet and novelist Aislinn Hunter about blending genres and grappling with the past.
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Participants and Speakers
MARIA STEPANOVA is one of the most distinctive voices of Russia’s post-Soviet literary generation. An award-winning poet and prose writer, essayist, and journalist, Stepanova is the author of ten poetry collections and three books of essays. Her novel In Memory of Memory was shortlisted for the 2021 International Man Booker Prize. Stepanova is the founder of the online crowd-sourced journal Colta.ru, which covers the cultural, social and political reality of contemporary Russia, reaching nearly a million visitors each month. (RUSSIA)
AISLINN HUNTER is the author of eight highly acclaimed books including the bestselling novel The Certainties and The World Before Us, winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. She teaches creative writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.