Dmitry Bykov is one of Russia’s best-known public intellectuals. He has authored more than 70 books, including novels, poetry, biographies, and literary criticism. Known for his wit, he is a popular lecturer and public speaker and has served as the host of numerous television and radio programs.
Hear Dmitry Bykov and ICOA board member Barbara Adams in conversation during the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. Register here.
Bykov is also an outspoken critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin. In April 2019, he fell ill while on an airplane flight and spent five days in a coma. An investigation by the news organization Bellingcat found that the symptoms were very similar to those suffered by opposition politician Alexey Navalny and that the same government agents who poisoned Navalny had also been following him.
Bykov remained in Russia after the incident, but he has been banned from teaching there or appearing on state television.
He has joined fellow intellectuals in publicly condemning the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine. Still, he says he would rather be known for his writing and teaching than for his poisoning or politics. He is a four-time winner of the International Award in the Field of Fantastic Literature, a three-time winner of the Fiction International Assembly Award, and a three-time winner of the Bolshaya Kniga (Big Book) award, one of Russia’s most prestigious literary prizes.
He has taught literature at Princeton and UCLA as well as at universities in Russia.
Photo by Jonathan Miller.