Nina Berberova was born in St. Petersburg on August 8, 1901, and left Soviet Russia in 1922 with her poet lover Vladislav Khodasevich, eventually settling with him in Paris in 1925, where she wrote prolifically for the democratic émigré press. There, among other works, she published many stories and novels about the Russians who had settled in Paris, particularly in the working-class district of Billancourt, after the Revolution.
In 1950 Berberova emigrated yet again, this time to the United States, where she taught at Yale and later at Princeton and where she continued to write. Her autobiography, The Italics Are Mine, published in 1969, has become a standard work for the study of twentieth-century Russian émigré culture.
After 1986, Berberova’s works began to be published in the Soviet Union, and in 1989 she herself visited the country she had never thought she would see again.
In the latter part of her life, as her fiction began to be published in English, Berberova achieved considerable critical acclaim in the United States, and she became a perennial best-seller in France, a country she loved but where she had spent twenty-five years in virtual anonymity.
Berberova died in Philadelphia on September 26, 1993.
Moura: The Dangerous Life of Baroness Budberg
The Billancourt Tales
Cape of Storms
The Book of Happiness
The Ladies from St. Petersburg
The Tattered Cloak and Other Novels