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Russian Personalities

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Iron Woman Nina Berberova

Iron Woman Nina Berberova

Iron Woman Nina Berberova


Nina Berberova was a Russian novelist and short story writer, documentary and biographical researcher.
Nina was born on July 26, 1901 in St. Petersburg. Her grandfather, Ivan Berberov, was a famous physician, received his education in Paris. Her father was an assistant Minister. Her mother came from the family of Tver landlord Karaulov.
In 1919-1920 Berberova studied in Rostov-on-Don. Thanks to her first verses Nina entered the poetic circles of Petrograd.
In 1922 Berberova and her husband Vladislav Khodasevich left Russia, they lived in Germany and Czechoslovakia, and later in Italy. And in 1925 they settled in Paris. In France, she was honored as a Chevalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters. During the years she lived in Paris Nina wrote The Book of Happiness, the most autobiographical of her novels.

In 1932 Berberova divorced her husband.
During the war, she stayed in the German-occupied part of France. In 1947, she left her second husband, N. Makeev. In 1954, Nina married the pianist and teacher George Kochevitsky.
After World War II, Beberova moved to the United States (1950), where she taught at Yale, then at Princeton University.
In 1989, the writer visited the Soviet Union, met with the literary community in Moscow and Leningrad.
The Russian writer died on September 26, 1993 in Philadelphia.
berberova khodasevich

Nina with her husband Vladislav Khodasevich in Sorrento, 1924


Nina was in correspondence with Bunin, Gippius, Merezhkovsky, Kuprin, Tsvetaeva and many other prominent Russian people. The letters are kept in the Yale University Library.
The square in the French town of Arles was named after the writer – Place Nina Berberova.
Berberova published a series of short stories Biyankurskie Holidays (1928-1940), novels Last and First (1930), The Lady (1932), Without a Sunset (1938), literary biography “Tchaikovsky, the story of a lonely life” (1936 – the book was very successful and was translated into many languages), Borodin (1938).
The autobiographical book Italics Are Mine was published in 1969 in English and in 1972 in Russian language. It was her main work.
Iron Lady, the biographical documentary about Baroness M. Budberg, was published in 1981.
Russian writer N. Berberova

Russian writer N. Berberova

berberova nina Accompanist

The Accompanist by N. Berberova

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