Russian Booker Prize 2009
Shortlist Russian Booker Prize 2003, 2005
Award Journal Zvezda 2001
Severnaya Palmira 2001
Born in Leningrad in 1957, Elena Chizhova worked as an economist, teacher and entrepreneur until a rescue from a burning cruise ship in 1996 inspired a change in her life focus. Since that time she has been overcome by the longing for writing. Elena Chizhova made her debut with "Children of Zaches" in the magazine “Zvezda” (“The Star”) in 2000. She has gone on to be nominated for and to win several prestigious literary awards, including the Shortlist Russian Booker Prize in 2003 and 2005, and the Russian Booker prize for The Time of Women in 2009. Chizhova’s prose shuns trickery in favour of emotional honesty in order to probe the weeping sores of Russian history that contemporary culture would sooner forget.
The home city of the writer always provides settings for her novels, and family or her own experience is projected onto characters. The novel "The Time of Women" is not completely autobiographical – the writer has reproduced what may be called family historical heritage: “In some sense, I write about my childhood. I did not attend a kindergarten; my mother and grandmother always talked about the siege as they experienced it, and how my grandfather and grandmother died. This was the background of my childhood, and I can’t say it shocked me. I felt that it was the norm”.
At the present time Elena Chizhova holds a position of the St. Petersburg PEN Club Director and continues working on the novels revealing significant aspects of an ordinary man existence in the crucial periods of Russian history.
Elena Chizhova is represented by Nibbe & Wiedling Literary Agency