Olga Grjasnowa was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and emigrated to Hesse in 1996. Her family was among the 200,000 Russians of Jewish descent who received German citizenship due to the so-called Quota Refugee Act. Grjasnowa studied art history and Slavic Studies at the University of Göttingen and received a degree in Creative Writing from the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig. She has lived in Poland, Russia, Turkey, Israel, and England, where she was a writer in residence at the University of Oxford and the University of Warwick. Grjasnowa is the author of Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt (2012; All Russians Love Birch Trees), Die juristische Unschärfe einer Ehe (2014), Gott ist nicht schüchtern (2019; City of Jasmine), Der verlorene Sohn (2020), and Die Macht der Mehrsprachigkeit: Über Herkunft und Vielfalt (2021). She was awarded the Anna Seghers-Preis, Klaus-Michael Kühne Prize, and the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize. Karen Deifel received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2016.
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