I am a writer specializing in Russian and Ukrainian culture and politics. My book BLACK SQUARE: ADVENTURES IN POST-SOVIET UKRAINE came out in 2016, with Norton (US) and Heinemann (UK). You can read excerpts about Crimean Crusoes in n+1, the early days of Ukraine's Maidan revolution on Lithub, and post-revolutionary Maidan in Dissent.
My articles, essays, and book reviews have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, The Nation, n+1, and The Paris Review, among other places. Topics include revolutionaries, oligarchs, and graphomaniacs; Tolstoy's wife's revenge; an afternoon with a Cossack bear trainer; and the history of the show trial.
I hold a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Columbia University, where I worked on writer cults, national identity, and the poetics of censorship in the late Soviet Union and contemporary Russia.
The New York Post recently called me “a hip young columnist for the New York Times,” and though this wasn’t entirely accurate, I was honored.
Order BLACK SQUARE!
Balka: Women, Drugs, and HIV in Ukraine, a short documentary I made with Anya Meksin and Leeza Meksin, is available on YouTube. ("The Last Jew in Stalindorf," in BLACK SQUARE, tells the story of our trip to Ukraine to film Balka, and our trip to Anya and Leeza's grandmother's former village in eastern Ukraine.)