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Journalist and writer Peter Weil

It has already been more than six years since the writer and journalist Peter Weil left this world. But analysts of the book market note with certainty the steady growth of readers' interest in this author. And this is another reason to look at it more closely. The writer Petr Weil, whose years of life span six decades, had a lot to say about Russia, about the countries of the post-Soviet space and about the far corners of the Earth where he happened to visit.

Some facts from the biography

The future writer Peter Weil was born in September 1949 in Riga, in the family of an officer of the Soviet Army. Here, in Latvia, he graduated from high school. He received his higher education in the capital of the Soviet Union, at the editorial department of the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. After returning to his native city was a literary employee of the popular newspaper "Soviet Youth". Here, Peter Weil, whose biography later crossed with many outstanding people of our time, met Alexander Genis, his permanent co-author. In the future, their literary duo will become widely known. Peter Weil himself, whose photo with the co-author adorns the reverse side of the cover of several books, considered himself obliged to Alexander Genis a significant part of his literary success.


In 1977, the writer moves to a permanent residence abroad. In New York, Peter Weil cooperates as a journalist with such well-known publications as "The New Russian Word" and "New American", edited by Sergei Dovlatov. The writer works a lot and is widely published. Newspapers and magazines in Russian were traditional centers of attraction of intellectual and cultural life of all three waves of Russian emigration. And this circumstance provided a rather high level of literature, which was published in these publications from the beginning of the century. Here Peter Weil met with the famous poet Joseph Brodsky, who emigrated to the United States three years earlier. Their friendship lasted until the last days of the Nobel laureate.

Radio Liberty

Cooperation with a well-known radio station "Freedom" writer began in 1984. And soon he headed the New York office of the Russian edition of this radio. In 1995, Peter Weil moved to Prague to the position of Deputy Director of the Russian Radio Service "Freedom". First, he manages information programs, and then thematic ones. The writer conducts a cycle of programs "Heroes of Time" on the radio, reads his literary works and travel essays, written in collaboration with Alexander Genis. The Russian editorial office of Radio Liberty under his leadership becomes a notable center of intellectual attraction for all who speak and write in Russian, regardless of the country of residence. With the editorship of Weil, authors from all countries and territories cooperate, after which the Soviet Union collapsed after 1991. Just a simple listing of writers, artists and musicians, whose voices were heard on the air of this radio station, would take a long time. In the last years of his life, Peter Weil is the head of the Russian editorial office of Radio Liberty.

Books by Peter Weil

From all that is written by Weil, it is not so easy to single out fiction in its pure form, with fictional characters and situations. Fame and recognition was brought to the author by the so-called "fact literature" - historical and geographical essays, travel notes and literary essays on a wide variety of topics. Most popular are the author's collections of essays based on geography - "Genius of the place" and "Homeland Map." In them, Peter Weil reflects on the conditionality of the history of Russia with its grandiose geographical spaces. Of course, all the essays are written under the impression of the author's travels through all these spaces. In the course of his wanderings through the post-Soviet space, the writer often found himself in difficult situations and hot spots. First of all, it is about the first Chechen war. No less significant is the book "Poems about me," where the author sets his priorities in the hierarchy of Russian poetry of the twentieth century. He was personally acquainted with many poets.

In co-authorship with Alexander Genis

In a creative duet with his old friend and co-author, Peter Weil wrote large cycles of culturological essays on Russia and America: "The Sixties: The World of the Soviet Man", "Paradise Lost," "Americana" and "Russian Cuisine in Exile." Situations in Russian literature are devoted to cycles of literary articles "Contemporary Russian Prose" and "Native Speech." For all essays Weil and Genisus is characterized by a lively spoken language and vivid imagery. These books are easy to read and completely do not impress the routine of literary criticism, characteristic of the university course in Russian literature.

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