Andrey Kurkov was born near Leningrad in 1961 and graduated from Kyiv Pedagogical Academy of Foreign Languages in 1983. Having completed his military service as a prison guard in Odesa, he self-published his texts and found renown as a novelist. His most recent novel, Grey Bees, portrays the life of a lone beekeeper as he navigates the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Death and the Penguin, the first of his novels to be translated into English, as well as into more than 30 other languages, has been in print since its publication in 2001. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Andrey has published unrivalled reports from his war-torn country in newspapers and magazines all over Europe and America. Not only has he been a regular presence on radio and television, including BBC Radio 4’s Letter from Ukraine, but he has travelled far and wide to lecture on the perilous state of his country. He has become, in the process, a crucial voice for the people of Ukraine.