Alexey’s amazing adventures in Russia and abroad

We’re talking about books this month on PocketCultures, so here on People of the World we’ve got some interviews with authors for you.

Today’s interview is with Alexey Subbotin, whose novella A few hours in the life of a young man describes life in contemporary Russia. Alexey had a pretty eventful life so far; here he tells us about surviving the breakup of the Soviet Union, studying and working abroad, selling a telecoms company and writing on the Moscow-St Petersburg railroad (phew!).

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in 1975, in Nyandoma – a small district center in Northern Russia. Both my parents worked for the local railroad. In 1977, we moved to Arkhangelsk – the capital of the Russian North, a place with lots of history and traditions. Then in late 90’s the whole world around me collapsed – whatever people may say nowadays about the break up of the Soviet Union, it was rather unmerciful and unpleasant experience. Luckily for me my parents kept sanity and raised me and my brother in spite of all the challenges stemming from a failed economy and disintegrating society. My father was unemployed for a number of years doing some dull temporary jobs despite his excellent engineering background.

In 1992, I graduated from middle school and began to study management at the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. In my third year there I got an opportunity to study in Germany at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Bernburg. DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) recognized me as the Best Foreign Student in 1997. Upon graduation I started to work as an auditor in the St. Petersburg office of Arthur Andersen.