Oleg Radzinsky was born in Moscow to a family of well-known Soviet literati: his maternal grandmother, Lia Geraskina was one of the most frequently published Soviet children’s writers. His paternal grandfather, Stanislav Radzinsky, was a well-known Soviet playwright and a famous translator. His mother, Alla, was an actress and an author, and his father, Edvard, is one of the most prominent Soviet/Russian playwrights and historians working today. Upon graduating from Moscow University in 1982, he tried to escape the literary path fate had wrought in his genes and decided to become a dissident. He was arrested by the KGB and sentenced to six years of maximum security imprisonment and internal exile. He served his term in the infamous KGB Lefortovo prison and then in Siberia, where he worked as a logger. He was pardoned in 1987.
Oleg emigrated to America and – to his surprise – learned that neither loggers nor Russian literature specialists were in high demand in New York City. After a stint as a Wall Street capitalist he published his first book, a collection of short stories titled A VISIT, in 2000. His next book, the novel SURINAM (2008), became a best-seller in Russia. THE OBSERVER was published in 2014 by AST under the title AGAFONKIN AND TIME. He has just finished another book, a memoir of his Soviet youth and his imprisonment. Oleg lives in London with his wife and four children.