Nikolay Kononov was born in Moscow in 1980. He studied journalism and political philosophy. Kononov lives in Berlin, where he works as a writer and editor-in-chief of the Russian-language online magazine "Teplica" about activism and anti-war resistance. He is the author of two novels and two non-fiction books. His debut novel "The Uprising" was shortlisted for the most prominent Russian literary prize "Nos". (Noir Sur Blanc translated “The Uprising” into French; the premiere is set for March 2023.) In 2022 Kononov's new novel "The Night We Dissapear" was out, telling the stories of apatrides who fled the Soviet Union after the Revolution and those of their descendants today. In the same year, he was a fellow of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture as a non-German-speaking writer.
What brought you to Berlin? Love? World politics? Or was it a coincidence?
First there was a car accident, after which I was taken to the intensive care unit in Unfallkrankenhaus, although I had no intention of going to Berlin. And four years later after visiting Berlin half-dead, I came back a little more consciously, as a political émigré.
What do you love about Berlin?
Cemeteries, lakes and U Kottbuser Tor, so that we do not forget the transience of everything.
What do you miss in Berlin?
What is your favorite spot in Berlin?
Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?
Yes, but it is impossible to measure how different.
Which existing literary work do you wish you had written?
Awards in Russland
NOS, The Uprising, short-list
National Bestseller, The Uprising, long-list
Yasnaya Polyana, The Uprising, long-list
The Big Book, The Uprising, long-list
NOS, Durov's Code, long-list
National Bestseller, Durov's Code, long-list
NOS, Deux Sine Machine, short-list
In 2022 Kononov was a fellow of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture as a non-German-speaking writer.