Boris Akunin is a pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in 1956 to a Georgian father and Russian mother in Zestaponi, in the Soviet Republic of Georgia. His family moved to Moscow two years later. A novelist, philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese, Akunin, who writes in Russian, published his first detective stories in 1998 and is one of the most widely read authors in Russia – named Russian Writer of the Year in 2000. The Erast Fandorin novels set in the Tsarist empire, translated into English by Andrew Bromfield, range from The Winter Queen to Not Saying Goodbye, and include The Turkish Gambit, Murder on the Leviathan and The Death of Achilles. The Coronation won the AntiBooker prize, and All The World’s A Stage was shortlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize in 2017. The History of the Russian State is a series comprising nine non-fiction titles with fiction counter-parts. His other works include the Sister Pelagia series, Genre series, Cinematic series and the Nicholas Fandorin books, whose protagonist is the detective’s grandson. Akunin opened the UK’s first festival of Georgian writers, Where Europe Meets Asia: Georgia25, and has appeared in public events in Georgia, including a conversation in English with Maya Jaggi at Ilia State University in Tbilisi.