Elvira Baryakina

Elvira Baryakina is the author of an ongoing series of novels devoted to the most significant events of the early 20th century.

As a naturalised American who is Russian by birth, Elvira Baryakina draws on a variety of cultures in her books. She travels the world collecting the memories of Chinese, British, and Argentinean people, amongst several other nationalities. The result is a distinctive, multilayered epic allowing readers to look at modern history from different perspectives.

Baryakina was born in 1975 in the Soviet city of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) into a family that spent its time and money on books- sometimes ones that had been officially banned in the USSR. Her childhood fell during the so-called stagnation era andElvira grew up with a sincere belief in communist ideals. However, as a young woman she lived through Gorbachev’s perestroika, a time of change when communist values were rapidly disintegrating. She pursued a law degree, going into practice and also teaching law at university, but she gave up her legal career upon emigrating to the USA in 2002.

Baryakina has always been fascinated with history at the turn of the 20th century with its Art Nouveau and Art Deco aesthetics, its clash of ideas and its rapid social change. Her profession today is a cross between archaeology and alchemy. From dusty volumes, she extracts long ago forgotten memoirs and mixes countless literary ingredients to produce stories of almost magical intensity that stay with the reader long after they finish her books.

Baryakina currently lives in California, United States.

To book Elvira Baryakina for speaking engagements, please visit Glagoslav Speakers.

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Author on:
White Shanghai - A Novel of the Roaring Twenties in China
Catalogue 2019

Catalogue 2019