Alexander Tsypkin is the literary discovery of 2015. From Facebook to the bestsellers.
When you see in Alexander Tsypkin’s book the subtitle ‘A sex situational comedy’ you should take it with a grain of salt. For there are indeed sex situations (rather entertaining and diverse, one should add) in the book. One-night stands and brothels, misalliances and domestic violence, sexting went wrong and almost tragical denouements. But if you leave aside the backdrop and circumstances (which is not a simple task - Tsypkin has a true journo’s grasp of detail, great sense of humour and ear for words), it turns out that all these stories are about eternal issues: devotion and honour, strong women and magnanimous men, and even, literally, about undying love.’
Natalia Kochetkova, Lenta.ru
Born in 1975 to a family of several generations of doctors, he graduated from the School of International Relations of the St.Petersburg State University. An expert in strategic PR, he has worked with major Russian companies. A frequent speaker at major professional fora and conferences, for several years he worked as the PR director of North-Western Megafon. In 2014 he moved to Moscow to get engaged in projects in the field of information politics in corporate conflicts. He has won many professional awards including the Proba-IPRA Golden World Awards.
An opinion journalist, he has also interviewed more than a hundred politicians, cultural, scientific and sport’s figures such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Lev Dodin, Alexander Ovechkin, Ornella Mutti, Diana Vishneva, Konstantin Khabensky et al. He has authored and anchored several TV programmes as well as lectured at the St.Petersburg State University. He is actively involved in the workings of the Children of BELA charity foundation and the Foundation for prevention of cancer.
In July 2015 the AST publishing house brings out the first book of Alexander Tsypkin’s - a collection of satirical stories ‘Long live die-hard women’ that in the span of a month becomes a bestseller, climbing to the first position in the Russian prose list in the ‘Moscow’ book retailer chain. According to the AST publishing house survey, it was the best sold comic book in Russia in 2015. Actually, the book is just a collection of the author’s posts from social networks where breaking all media rules, he posted long-reads, but surprisingly they became a hit.
In October 2015 the author presented his book in Waterstones, a major London bookshop, and gave a lecture in a students’ club in Oxford.
In December 2017 AST published Tsypkin's new book 'The House of Goodbyes' which momentarily became number 1 on the 'Top 10 Best-selling books' list of the 'Moscow' book retailer chain.
Alexander's stories have been read by some of Russia's leading actors, including Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Konstantin Khabenskiy, and Anna Mikhalkova. His project 'UnprincYpled Readings', which he launched in 2015, has quickly gained popularity and sold-out shows took place in top Moscow theaters. Alexander and Konstantin Khabenskiy have traveled to over 10 countries with their programme named after Tsypkin's first book ‘Long live die-hard women’.
Many times have Alexander Tsypkin’s stories being read on stage, including such occasions as the ‘Night of the Arts 2015’and a book festival in the Red Square.
‘Radio Russia’ featured an audio version of a number of his stories performed by the leading St.Petersburg thespians - a ‘Nika’, ‘Golden Mask’ and ‘Golden Sofit’ laureate Sergei Dreiden and an Honoured Artist of Russia, a laureate of the State Prize of the USSR and the State Prize of Russia Pavel Semak.
January 2016 saw a literature reading of Tsypkin’s stories for the Russian community in Singapore, put together with informational support from the Russian Embassy in Singapore.
That very January Alexander took part in a ‘Russian literature’ festival in Paris that brought together a number of prominent Russian writers including Andrei Bitov, Victor Yerofeev, Alexander Snegirev, Vladimir Fedorovsky et al. It was in the framework of the festival that stories of the author from St.Petesrburg were first heard in a foreign language.
In February 2016 came out the video-version of a semi-staged reading of the ‘Tomato juice’ story performed by Danila Kozlovsky, a leading Russian stage and screen actor familiar to an international audience for the blockbuster ‘Twilight’. During one week the video garnered 1 million hits on Facebook and has now over 5 million views.
An audio-book released that month and voiced by Danila Kozlovsky, Pavel Derevianko and many other film actors and TV anchors as well as the author himself became a bestseller in Russia in just two weeks.
In March 2016 a French translation of ‘Long live die-hard women’ was presented in Paris.
Recently, Alexander co-wrote a short film that is part of a feature 'About Love. Adult edition' by Anna Melikyan, which premiered this fall. Tsypkin has also, along with Ksenia Rappoport, directed a short film 'Goodbye, my lover!' that sold for the record 10 million rubles at the charity auction 'Action'.
Quotes from reviews:
‘His stories are gulped in one go and just stay there. Today, when long and big-scale works have but lost all chances of being read, short-story masters who perfect the most complicated form of literature have got a unique opportunity to influence the readers and change their inner world...Brilliantly written, sad and funny, with their words these stories bring us back the meanings, and with the meanings, we regain emotions and caring about people’.
The founder and director of the Multimedia Art Museum Olga Sviblova
Alexander Tsypkin’s book presents a wonderful chance to understand today’s Russia from within. It comprises a multitude of diverse stories, amazing, juicy and always kind. One can trace this young author’s lineage to de La Fontaine’s fables, Balzac’s ‘Human comedy’ and the wit of Sacha Guitry who, too, was born in St.Petersburg. This one is a very contemporary and very Russian book that reminds us that Russians can and love laughing, first of all, at themselves.
Former adviser to the president of France Jacques Chirac, director of the French Institute in St.Petersburg and Cultural attache of the French Embassy in Russia
‘Alexander Tsypkin’s stories amaze with their staggering nakedness of a masterfully depicted world of a St.Petesrburg slacker. It seems that never before in the history of Russian prose has anyone spoken with such humor and freedom on major serious topics that are very exciting for us today’.
Artistic director of the ‘Stanislavsky electric theatre’ Boris Yukhananov
‘For me, Alexander Tsypkin is the Leningrad’s Isaac Babel’
Pyotr Semak, an Honoured Artist of Russia, actor of ‘MDT - Theatre of Europe
‘One thing is obvious - Tsypkin combines in his short novellas brilliant humor and deep emotions in a remarkable manner, at the same time he is delicate even when he is writing on seemingly taboo subjects. Some sentences from Tsypkin’s stories are so rich, flashy and self-sufficient that they may easily have a life of their own’.
The Russian newspaper
‘Tsypkin’s stories have that thing that I value most in literature and gastronomy - the stuffing. Inside laughter, there’s always sadness, in every drama, there is a smile.
Alexander Malenkov, Editor-in-Chief of Maxim Russian Edition.
‘Life writes bang-up plots. The author outstripped me and millions of other people by turning these plots into short stories’.
Polina Sokhranova, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Russia
‘Life in Alexander Tsypkin’s stories is light and nonchalant. Sometimes its lightness is unbearable. Still, in every short story, there is lust for the harmony lost, for the quiet caressing of humanity. And we understand that, no matter how comic they look, people in his texts are not just pictures, not mere pawns. They must be cared for and loved.’
Writer and linguist Andrey Astvatsaturov