Ilya Kochergin


Program Bio
February 2005: UNC-Chapel Hill and The PEN American Center
Back to More Open World Past Participants in Literature

Ilya Kochergin is a writer, journalist, and winner of several literary awards, both his for short stories and his novel The Chinese Man’s Assistant (Pomoschnik kitaytsa). His work has been published in France, and prior to the Open World Program, he traveled in Germany and France as part of a delegation representing young Russian literature.

Kochergin was born in Moscow in 1970. After trying chemistry and geology, he graduated with a degree from the Moscow Literary Institute. He has held many jobs over the years: a street cleaner, a librarian, a manual laborer in a geological expedition to Kamchatka, a custodian in the main building of Moscow State University, a night watchman, a mailman, a gum salesman in the subway, a worker at the restoration of Danilov Monastery, a distributor of small icons in churches, an assistant to a Chinese businessman, an environmental inspector at Altai nature preserve, to name a few. He has traveled a lot and still tries to travel around Russia’s Northern regions and Siberia. Kochergin has a wife and two children, and spends his time at writing, reporting, and photography.