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Boris Akunin

Boris Akunin is the most famous pen name of Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili, a Russian writer of Georgian origin. He is best known for the Erast Fandorin historical detective series, but has also worked as an essayist and translator and written under the names Anatoly Brusnikin, Anna Borisova and Akunin-Chkhartishvili when wanting to engage in different styles and topics. As a child, Akunin was very influenced by Japanese Kabuki theatre. His fascination with Japanese culture carried over into his adult years: he studied Japanese Literature at the Moscow State University; and the pseudonym Akunin is Japanese and means ‘evil man’.

Akunin has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his works have been trans-lated into over 35 languages; the Erast Fandorin series alone has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. A number of his titles have also been adapted into Russian films. Planet Water, the penultimate title in the Fandorin series, was recently published in Russia by Zakharov, while the author is currently working on the sixteenth and final novel in the series. Other works from Akunin include the Sister Pelagia series, Genre series, Cinematic series and the Nicholas Fandorin books, whose protagonist is the grandson of the famous detective Erast Fandorin.

Akunin won the Antibooker prize for The Coronation and was named Russian Writer of the Year in 2000. In 2004, he was a member of the jury at the 26th Moscow International Film Festival.