Born in 1944 in Sverdlovsk, Anatoly Kurchatkin graduated from the Moscow Literary Institute in 1972. Anatoly Kurchatkin's eagle eye has chronicled the changes in Russian society since the 1970s. He has won numerous prizes over the years, and his novels have been dramatized by the Moscow Art Theatre and turned into feature films. His other works include: Notes of an Extremist (1990), The Joy of Death (2000), The Happiness of Benjamin L. (2002), The Sun was Shining (2004). One of the most European of contemporary Russian writers, his work has been translated into ten languages. Critics describe him as 'a student of human behaviour with a firm belief in basic principles of human decency.' A master of dialogue, his writing has the resonance of parable.