Julia Latynina was born on 16 June 1966 into a writing family: her father Leonid Latynin, poet and prose-writer, and her mother Alla Latynina, a literary critic.
In 1983, she entered the Literary Institute in Moscow.
In 1988, she took a course at the Louvain Catholic University (Belgium) as part of the students exchange program. Also in 1988, she graduated from the Literary Institute with distinction and enrolled as a post-graduate student at the same institute’s department of Romance and Germanic languages.
In 1993, she defended her Ph.D. at the World Literature Institute on the subject of different types of anti-utopian discourse (published in a limited edition under the title: Anti-utopia from Aristophanes to Hoffman, Moscow, GLAS, 1993.)
It is often erroneously mentioned by Julia Latynina’s biographers that she studied at the post-graduate department of the Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences. The mistake derives from the fact that her academic supervisor, Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov, a noted cultural scientist, semiotician and linguist, did indeed work at the Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies at the time.
Already during her post-graduate studies Julia Latynina’s scholarly interests increasingly move away from philology towards cultural history and economic history. This is reflected both in her thesis and in her publications of those years in such periodicals as Novy Mir, 20th Century and the World, Knowledge Is Power, Russian Independent, etc. In the early 1990s, she published a series of articles under the umbrella title: “Golden Calf: Idol or Victim” devoted to the role of money and exchange in different societies – archaic, ancient, medieval.
In 1993, she studied at King’s College London specializing in the economics of medieval Europe.
Julia’s bios often contain the erroneous information that having started as a journalist she then tried her hand in prose and published her first books under the pen name Evgeny Klimovich. This is not so. Julia turned to journalism when she was already author of several novels published under her own name: A Hundred Fields, Ire’s Day, Magicians and Ministers (written during 1990-95) and also of the philological novels Clearchus and Heraclea (written in 1990 and published in the magazine Druzhba Narodov No.1 for 1994) and Tale of the Well-meaningMutineer (written in 1993 and published in Zvezda magazine No. 3 for 1996) which the critic Alla Marchenko called “brilliant and sophisticated”. However, Marchenko also noted that these novels, having demonstrated the author’s philological erudition and her ability to create stylizations both of Hellenic texts and medieval Chinese tales, “had no success with the general reader, alas, … perhaps precisely due to their cultural sophistication.” (NovyMir,No. 12 for 2000.)
In 1994, Julia wrote her first detective novel, a genre that was new to her: A Bomb for the Banker, published in 1995 under the pen name Evgeny Klimovich. Later the detective novels published under this pen name were reprinted under her own name.
Julia went into journalism in the early 1995 as a columnist on economic matters for the newspaper Segodnya (Today). She also contributed to the Izvestiyadaily (1996-97), the magazine Expert, the monthly Sovershenno Secretno (Top Secret, 1999-2000), and Ezhenedelny Zhurnal (Weekly Journal, 2003-04.)
She was a TV presenter and author of the NTV program “The Ruble Zone” (2000-01), a co-presenter of the ORT television program “Other Times” (2001-02), author of the TV rubric “In Your Own Words” on the Ren-TV program “Nedelya” (Week, 2003-04.)
Since 2001 and to the present she is a columnist at Novaya Gazeta, author of the radio program “Password Code” at Echo Moscow Radio and the RTVI television channel, contributing columnist for the electronic periodicalsEzhednevny Zhurnal (Daily Journal, since 2005) and “Gazeta.ru”.
In 1998, she was awarded the Alexander II Prize “for great personal contribution to the cause of defending economic freedom in Russia.”
In 1999, the Russian Biographical Institute named Julia Latynina “Person of the Year” for her “successes in economic journalism”.
In 2004, she became a laureate of the Gerd Bucerius Prize “Young Press of Eastern Europe”. In 2007, she received the Maria Grazia Cutuli international prize for journalism awarded for the best journalistic investigation. In 2008, she won the “Freedom Defenders” Award established by the US State Department.
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