Olga Gryasnova was born in 1984 in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she was brought up. In 1996 she immigrated with her family to Germany. She studied prose and dramatic writing at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig and spent several semesters abroad: at the University of Warsaw and at the Maxim-Gorki Institute of Literature and Creative Writing in Moscow. Her work has been published in several magazines and anthologies. Next to that, she has worked interdisciplinary in the field of New Media Art. Winner of the OVAG youth literary award in 2004 and 2005. She received several grants, among them one to attend the Klagenfurter Literaturkurs, a scholarship of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, and another of the Jürgen Ponto Schreibwerkstatt. In 2010 she was awarded the Dramatist Prize of the Wiener Wortstätten for her debut play, MITFÜHLENDE DEUTSCHE (Compassionate Germans). She is currently studying dance at the Berlin Free University.
Represented on behalf of Hanser
"ALL RUSSIANS LOVE BIRCH TREES by Olga Grjasnowa is an astounding debut novel, both political and personal, sexual and full of grief. It captures beautifully and viscerally what it's like to lose your home due to traumatic events, what it's like to be neither a tourist nor a native no matter where you go looking for what's missing in you. To paraphrase Yevtushenko's famous line - borders are scars on the face of the planet. This book proves it, and how." - Ismet Prcic, author of SHARDS, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year
"A thoughtful, melancholy study of loss." - Kirkus Review
"Here the world comes to you, as it never has appeared to you in a novel. With power, with wit, with wisdom and clarity, with subtlety and grief." - Die Welt
"Olga Grjasnowa writes from the nerve center of her generation." - Die Zeit
"Grjasnowa tells her story effectively because she works through the personal, which results in a touching and thought-provoking debut novel that's already won awards." - Library Journal