Quick Study: Polina Klyukina is a journalist and fiction writer who depicts harsh realities of Russian life.
The Klyukina File: Polina Klyukina won the Debut award for short prose in 2009 after making the prize’s short list in 2008. Klyukina studied journalism in Moscow and has written for publications including Russian Newspaper. She began writing at 17 and was first published in the Russian “thick” journal Novyi mir in 2009 when she was still a student at the Moscow Literary Institute. Klyukina’s first book, a short story collection called Fight or Flight, was released in 2012.
Psssst………: Klyukina’s first post-secondary education was in stage direction.
Klyukina’s Places: Born and raised in Perm. Studied fiction writing and journalism in Moscow.
The Word on Klyukina: When Klyukina won the Debut Prize, writer and Debut jury member Zakhar Prilepin said, “Polina has the right to contend for any literary prize,” saying Klyukina’s prose is about “what’s painful, what hurts -- not just anyone can write like that or bring oneself to do so… She has a fairly harsh view of things, of the person as a whole.”
Klyukina on Klyukina: In a 2008 interview on Radio Liberty, led by Viktor Yerofeev and including fellow Debut Prize winner Alexander Snegirev, Klyukina says she writes about what she calls “a peasant dissatisfaction,” adding that her grandparents and great-grandmothers were from the country, “And those genes are in me.”
On Writing: When asked in the Radio Liberty interview about inspiration, Klyukina said it probably comes, “When you’re riding in the Metro and see some people who interest you in some way and you bring that home, you don’t think about anything else.” She continues, “You rush in without even taking off your shoes, sit down and start writing about it. That is probably inspiration.”
Klyukina Recommends: Klyukina has cited Vladimir Nabokov, Ivan Bunin, Zakhar Prilepin, Pavel Basinsky, and Gaito Gazdanov as “teachers.” She also said in her 2008 Radio Liberty interview that Oscar Wilde was her favorite writer, mentioned Anton Chekhov as a Russian favorite, and said she liked Ivan Bunin’s Dark Avenues, “like every girl.”