A Reading and Conversation with Tatsiana Zamirovskaya, Polina Barskova, and Olga Zilberbourg

It’s such an honor and delight to be reading together with two authors whom I deeply admire. Tatsiana Zamirovskaya’s novel THE DEADNET (Смерти.net) is one of the most interesting, innovative novels I’ve read in the recent years, and when I heard that she’s coming to the Bay Area I jumped at the opportunity to introduce her work to the local literary community. In many circles Polina Barskova’s work needs no introduction: she is a poet of force, vision and integrity, and we’re lucky to have her teaching at UC Berkeley. Her recent book LIVING PICTURES was published by NYRB (trans Catherine Ciepiela) and her poetry has been widely translated to English.

Where: Adobe Books, 3130 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

When: Saturday March 25, 2023, at 7 pm

This event will be held in English.

The full event announcement:

Three writers born in the Soviet Union will read from their work and discuss responses to the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.  The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has been met with an incredible flowering of poetry against war, yet we also must note the many voices that have fallen silent. As writers, one of our tasks is to find meaning in the unfathomable events that we witness. We reach into the past, into the institutional and family archives, to gather material for this work. The ongoing war makes much of this work impossible. Even the language in which some of us work—Russian—has become deeply stained by association with the Russian government. Yet we continue to reach for meaning in the past, in the stories we tell, in the emotional and bodily truths that we try to shape into words and language.   

Polina Barskova is a scholar and a poet, author of thirteen collections of poems and three books of prose in Russian. Her collection of creative nonfiction, LIVING PICTURES (NYRB, 2022) received the Andrey Bely Prize in 2015 and is also forthcoming in German with Suhrkamp Verlag. She edited the Leningrad Siege poetry anthology WRITTEN IN THE DARK (Ugly Duckling Presse) and has four collections of poetry published in English translation. Barskova is a renowned scholar of World War II who has edited multiple volumes on the culture of the besieged Leningrad. She teaches in the Slavic Department at UC Berkeley.

Tatsiana Zamirovskaya is a writer from Belarus, who moved to Brooklyn in 2015. She writes metaphysical and socially charged fiction about memory, ghosts, hybrid identities and borders between empires and languages. Tatsiana is the author of three short story collections and a bestselling novel about digital resurrection THE DEADNET. Published in 2021 in Moscow, it received great critical and popular acclaim. She is also a journalist and essayist, writing about art, traumatic memories, dictatorships and dreams.

Olga Zilberbourg’s English-language debut LIKE WATER AND OTHER STORIES (WTAW Press) explores “bicultural identity hilariously, poignantly,” according to The Moscow Times. Born in Leningrad, USSR, she grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia, and makes her home in San Francisco, California. She serves as a consulting editor at Narrative Magazine and as a co-facilitator of the San Francisco Writers Workshop. Together with Yelena Furman, she has co-founded Punctured Lines, a feminist blog about literature from the former Soviet Union. She is currently at work on her first novel.