Yuri Buida was first published as a fiction writer in the early 1990s after a career in journalism. He grew up in the small town of Znamensk in the Kaliningrad region. The much-disputed territory of former East Prussia was occupied by Soviet troops in 1945; the German inhabitants were deported en masse. The Russians among whom Buida was born were effectively immigrants, and a sense of the transitory courses right through his short stories and novels. Deprived of a sense of the past, his war cripples, bereaved wives, madmen and magicians inhabit a dislocated world. Death is all around them, yet Buida animates their lives with unforgettable vitality and humour, and with a peculiarly Russian sense of the miraculous. His own prose style, by turns baroque, magic realist and savagely terse, is a formidable match for the subject.
Yuri Buida is one of the most exciting discoveries of post-Soviet literature and a worthy winner of the prestigious Apollon Grigoriev award in Russia. His novel Blue Blood, which uses literary allusions and quirky Soviet-era situations to transform Soviet actress Valentina Karavaeva into a fictional heroine, was a 2011 Big Book award finalist, winning third prize among readers.