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Margarita Meklina is a fiction writer and essayist born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia. She came to the United States as a refugee in the early 1990s and has been living in San Francisco ever since. She received the 2003 Andrei Bely Prize (Russia’s first independent literary prize, which enjoys a special reputation for honoring dissident and nonconformist writing) for her short story collection Battle at St. Petersburg and the 2009 Russian Prize, awarded by the Yeltsin Center Foundation, for her manuscript My Criminal Connection to Art. Meklina has also published interviews with Alessandro Baricco, Diana di Prima, Ursula K. Le Guin, and David Sedaris, among others.