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Maria Stepanova Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

In Memory of Memory (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

War of the Beasts and the Animals (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Voice Over: Poems and Essays (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Maria Stepanova is a Russian journalist, poet, essayist, novelist, and author of more than three essay books and ten collections of poetry.

Her very first translation of her work from Russian to English was the 2021 published work “War of the Beasts and the Animals.” The work made the shortlist for the Warwick Prize for Women by the Poetry Book Society.

For her work, Stepanova has received several international and Russian literary awards including the Joseph Brodsky Fellowship and the Andrew Bely Prize.

Maria published “In Memory of Memory,” her biggest work to date in 2018. The work is a documentary novel that explores her childhood growing up in Russia.

Given its popularity, it has been translated and republished all over Europe in Germany the United Kingdom, and the United States. The work made the shortlist for the James Tait Black Prize in 2022 and the International Booker Prize in 2022.
Her third work which has also received much critical acclaim was the Columbia University Press published “The Voice Over” edited by Irina Shevelenko.

Over the years, Maria Stepanova would become one of the most visible literary characters in post-Soviet Russian culture. She made her mark not only as a leading poet, but also as a publisher, journalist, and influential voice for press freedom.
She is also the founder of Russia’s only crowd-funded and independent source of information in the website “Colta.”

The website has become very popular in Russia and has sometimes it has been referred to as the Russian “Huffington Post” given its style and format.

Some reviewers have also compared the depth and scope of its essays to “The New York Review of Books.”

Alongside the numerous international and Russian literary awards she has won over the years, she has also been a fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, one of the most highly regarded Austrian institutions for literature.
In addition to her work as an essayist and poet, Maria has also been the editor-in-chief and founder of an independent online daily named “Openspace.” The online publication is dedicated to news and reviews of society and culture in Russia.

Maria Stepanova’s “Magnum Opus” is inspired by her childhood experiences. She always knew that she would one day have to compile the many stories and facts about her family.

Growing up, her mother told her all manner of stories about her grandparents and cousins who were figures that loomed large over the family.

She began writing when she was only ten, as she noted things that might be used in a book and wrote in scraps of paper. Still, she put in a lot of work as she has to visit the precise spaces and places her relatives lived.

It was critical to physically immerse herself in the spaces, as she needed to showcase their interesting experiences, even if they were just ordinary people living ordinary lives.

As she dug for facts from the archives, she found out that the only way to make their ordinary lives more interesting was to write them in the bigger context of the entire 20th century.

Maria Stepanova believes that no person or country has a solitary history and hence her stories about her grandmother and other prominent family members have threads in many countries and a wide range of circumstances.
Some of these include threats in Germany, Russia, and Ukraine and stories in the revolutionary movement, war, and women’s liberation.

“In Memory of Memory” by Maria Stepanova is beautiful work in which the author uses memory, family artifacts, and vivid imagery to tell a story. While it may not be the most reliable, Maria reconstructs a past that for many seemed impossible to do.
She comments on modern photography calling it morbid art even as she critiques selfie culture. Most of these modern art forms are insistent on extending existence in strange outward forms which sometimes makes them haunting.

Many people actively seek out coincidences and fight the odd geometry of time, just so they can feel like their existence is not a result of pure chance.

She also asserts that people are often in a constant state of trying to make themselves busy so as to not feel life’s inevitable slow sedimentation.

Maria Stepanova examines her own family history and tries to reconcile the incongruities between history and memory. She showcases the places where they remain steadfastly opposed and where they intersect.
She pens stories of how memory works to magnify the past, particularly in the consciousness of the survivors of the Holocaust.

She also goes on to write about post-memory and how people often perceive the world just like an abandoned apartment.

Maria Stepanova’s work “War of the Beasts and the Animals” is the author’s first full collection in the English language.

This work includes several exceptional poems such as “War of the Beasts and Animals,” and “Spolia,” which she penned during the Donbas conflict.

“The Body Returns” is a very long poem in the collection that commemorates the First World War Centenary and was commissioned by the Hay International Festival.

In her work, Stepanova made use of experimental form, even as she appropriated modern poetic texts from across the globe.

She also takes into consideration how contemporary life, memory, and culture are interwoven to make for some deep narratives.

The collection also comes with two poem sequences from “Kireevsky,” her 2015 collection.

These include sequences of weird songs and ballads, subtly modified popular poems, songs, and folk literary works that combine contemporary understanding and historical lyricism.

“The Voice Over” by Maria Stepanova is a collection of two decades of the author’s work, as it showcases her creative evolution, virtuosity, and range.

Her poetic voice is always looking for new bodies to live in as she takes established styles and forms and renders them into something strange and unexpected.

Popular elegies, ballads, and war songs are transformed into new formats, juxtaposed with strange or perhaps strange neighbors and infused with foreign strands.

Given that she is an essayist, Stepanova easily engages with authors that witnessed dramatic social change and devastation as seen in searching pieces on Susan Sontag, Marina Tsvetaeva, and W.G. Sebald.

Maria’s work also includes contributions from several translators going to show why she has become one of the most accomplished contemporary authors to emerge from Russia.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Maria Stepanova

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