Viktor Pelevin was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1962. He began a study of electro-technology, but soon moved to the Institute of Literature in Moscow. Pelevin has worked as a freelance author since 1990. Pelevin does not like to reveal details of his biography, and he repeatedly reinvents himself for journalists. In Russia, Pelevin refuses to give readings, interviews and television appearances; his readers, for whom he has long become a cult author, communicate with him via the Internet.
To date, five novels and around 50 stories by Pelevin have been published, and his books have been translated into more than ten languages. Pelevin immediately charmed the readership with his first novels "The Yellow Arrow", "Omon Ra" and "The Life of Insects". The New Yorker named Pelevin as one of the "best European authors under 35" and spoke of "a rising star on the firmament of Russian literature", and for the Boston Globe he is "the most important Russian writer of his generation".
To quote the jury awarding the Prize for Literature at the Salzburg Easter Festival Nonino 2001: "From the absurd, disorienting chasm caused by the decay of Soviet culture, Viktor Pelevin rises – a pupil of 'difficult literature', with his transgressive style of free and ironic writing – like a celestial planet.
We agree entirely with the definition 'a psychedelic Nabokov for the epoch of cybernetics' and we would like to make this award to him as one of the most original voices of contemporary literature". Print