Irina Muravyov born in Moscow in 1952, has lived in the United States since the 1980s. Her many novels and stories have won her a reputation as one of today's foremost women writers in Russian. Her books have been shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize and the Bunin Prize, and several have been translated into other languages. English translations include Day of the Angel (Thames River Press), The Nomadic Soul (Glas) and her story 'On the Edge', published in Women on the Case, a collection of the best women's writing from around the world (Dell). Portrait of Altoviti and Natalia’s Diary came out in France from Actes Sud. Day of the Angel was published in English, French, Arabic, Serbian, Slovak, and Hungarian.
Irina Muravyova has 20 books to her name (published by EKSMO in Russian).
Her best known novels include:
Apples of Paradise
Alesha, a boy from the actors’ family, observes the complex love-hate relationship of his parents and his grandmother’s secret love affair until he comes of age as he meets his first true love. The novel overflows with passions and abounds in finely captured period details of everyday life.
Passions for Yuri
Devoted to the memory of the great writer Georgy Vladimov this is a novel about passionate love which overcomes the prejudices of the times, about passion for honesty leading the hero to multiple conflicts with himself and the world, and also about passion for life and art.
Reflection of Beatrice
Reflection of Beatrice, unanimously regarded by critics as one of the best love stories in contemporary Russian literature, is a convincing and beautiful ode to the apparent irrationality of love defying any common logic, a love guided by providence which is a supreme form of worldly wisdom, according to the author.
Like Dante who saw his Beatrice at a dance and instantly fell in love with her for life, Soviet diplomat Sergei encounters his Anna in the Moscow Metro and is totally smitten. Anna is a music student from an intellectual family which survived the revolution and has to live in a constant dread of the Stalinist regime. Anna is irresistibly attractive and seems to radiate some sort of inner light which makes her stand out in a drab Moscow crowd of the 1950s. Anna and her parents have little in common with the Soviet reality around them. >
Sinful Adela: a Life
Adela survived the Jewish ghetto in her youth and emerged from it unbroken with an irresistible thirst for life. A mediocre light-opera singer she possesses an enormous talent for living. She makes an obedient slave of her husband and smothers her son with her love; she stops at nothing to get what she wants. The Jewish theme provides a striking background.
Set in Moscow of the late 1960s, this novel shows an irrepressible youthful love against the background of hypocritical school system. Short-listed for the Russian Booker prize.
A Family Saga. Trilogy: Young Lady. Cold Bird Cherries. Parting on the Bridge.
Several generations of a cultured Russian family affected by the historical ordeals of the 1920s.
Woman Called Eve, a novel 300 pp. Eksmo 2016.
This novel, as many others by this author, depicts irrepressible human feelings crushed by the cruel course of history. The novel is set in America and Russia and spotlights the fates of some displaced Russians who landed in America as the result of WWII. We meet the protagonist Herbert Fishbein as a young American soldier fighting in Korea where he falls passionately in love with a Korean girl. They have an ardent love affair but the girl gets killed while Herbert is wounded. He is dispatched back to the US where he is at a loss what to do with his life.
In actual fact he is a Russian-born man who had been driven away to Germany during the war, together with hordes of other young people, and after the war, as many other displaced persons, he settled in America.
The press on Muravyova:
"Already a recognized talent in Russian literature, Muravyova should garner praise among English-language readers with this brisk and dynamic work." – The Publishers Weekly
"… richly suggestive blend of prose and poetry, tirelessly jumping back and forth in time and place… Here, as elsewhere, Muravyova shows her considerable talent at refashioning staples of the Russian tradition with verve and ingenuity." – The Moscow Times
"Muravyova's writing stands out for her striking contrasts between unfashionable sentimentality and a sharp sober vision." – Ex Libris
"...an aspiring talent emerging from the recent group of emigre Russian writers." – World Literature Today
"We are proud to present the Russian author Irina Muravyova, whose stories show what powers women may call on in order to survive." – from the introduction to the Women on the Case: 26 original stories by today's best women writers
"Her prose tends to poetry, it is marked with dignity and faith in her unfortunate homeland." – Russkaya Mysl