Photo © Igor Kov

Author of Soul Catcher

Dimitri Bortnikov is a Russian-born French writer. Born in Samara in 1968, he had a rather eventful youth: his medical studies interrupted by the then-mandatory military service in the Soviet Army and later by the fall of the Soviet Union, he had worked as a nurse, a librarian and a dance teacher, before leaving Russia to join the French Foreign Legion (for a short while) and finally settling in Paris and working as a cook for an old Russian countess.

Bortnikov lives in Paris since 1999, where he is a full-time writer.

His first novel, Syndrom Fritza (“The Fritz Syndrom”), was published by Limbus Press, Saint-Petersburg, in 2002 and was a finalist for the Russian Booker Prize and the National Bestseller Award. It was published in France in 2012 by Editions Noir sur Blanc (“Le Syndrôme de Fritz”).

His second novel, Svinoburg (Amphora, Saint-Petersburg, 2003), was translated into the French and published by Le Seuil in 2005 to critical acclaim.

His third novel Spiaschaya Krasavitsa (“Sleeping Beauty”) came out from Prestige Kniga, Moscow, in 2005. It will be published in France by Noir sur Blanc in 2021 (“La Belle endormie”).

In 2008, Bortnikov published his first work written in French, a novella called Furioso (Editions MF).

In 2011, Editions Allia, Paris, published Bortnikov’s first novel written in French, Repas de morts, unanimously saluted by the critics.

In 2017, Bortnikov comes back with a second novel in French, the epic Face au Styx (“Facing the Styx”) and wins the Best French Novel of the Year Prize of the Lire Magazine.

Soul Catcher will be the first English translation of a work by this outstanding writer, whose career to date is impressive and whose future is undoubtedly full of promise.

Praise for Repas de morts (France)

“Bortnikov’s audacity verges on genius. A constant verbal insurrection.” —Gonzai

“Powerful, paroxysmal, his prose doesn’t resemble anyone else’s.” —Livres Hebdo

“Here is an animist prosopopeia. Here is an ardent work.” —Tristan Felix

“Language plays a crucial role there, with that breathless rhythm that follows the narrator’s hallucinated thoughts.”  —

“With its breath-taking prose and its tenebrous beauty, Repas de morts is a literary uppercut. Radical, exhilarating, a joy of reading of a rare intensity.” —Transfuge