Quick Study: Igor Sakhnovsky writes fiction with mystical, humorous, and romantic touches.
The Sakhnovsky File: Igor Sakhnovsky is a prose writer, editor, and poet who published his first novel, The Vital Needs of the Dead, in 1999 in the journal New World. Sakhnovsky’s fiction often combines realism, humor, and an element of fantasy or magical realism. His The Man Who Knew Everything, about a man who can access knowledge about nearly everything on earth after an electrical accident, was shortlisted for the 2007 Russian Booker and Big Book awards, and won the 2008 Bronze Snail award; the novel was adapted for screen in 2009.
Psssst………: Sakhnovsky was first published in the newspaper The Orsk Worker as a teenager, in 1972. As a child, he told people he wanted to be Odysseus when he grew up because Odysseus was his favorite character. Travel appealed to him.
Sakhnovsky’s Places: Born in Orsk, lives in Yekaterinburg.
The Word on Sakhnovsky: In a review, critic Lev Danilkin wrote of Sakhnovsky and The Man Who Knew Everything that, “If a writerly gift consists not in thinking up fantastic assumptions but in forcing the most ordinary moments, actions, and conversations to seem fantastic, then Sakhnovsky is a writer with a most genuine talent.”
Sakhnovsky on Sakhnovsky: Sakhnovsky told Russian Cosmo in an interview that he has a strange way of seeing his future, “I don’t so much predict it as dictate it. All I have to do is very strongly want something definite and, sooner or later, it inevitably falls on my head. This has forced me to learn to be precise in my wishes and not toss around words about the future.”
On Writing: When Russian Cosmo asked Sakhnovsky what books he would like to have written, he said he could only refer to his own books, “I’m not embarrassed about any of them. That’s not self-satisfaction but my readiness to answer for every written word.”
Sakhnovsky Recommends: Sakhnovsky told Cosmo his favorite, most essential, writers are Osip Mandelstam, Rainer Maria Rilke, Vladimir Nabokov, Ivan Bunin, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Knut Hamsun, Innokenty Annensky, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and Marcel Proust.