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Vitali Vitaliev

Non-fiction writer
Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

Vitali Vitaliev is a UK-based multi-award-winning and fully bilingual (English-Russian) author, columnist, editor and broadcaster. Starting his career in the former USSR, where he became known as the country’s first investigative journalist, he was forced to defect in January 1990. Having worked and lived in Australia, England, Scotland and Ireland, Vitali is the author of fourteen books (Hutchinson, Hodder & Stoughton, Random House, Simon & Schuster etc.), translated into German, Japanese, Italian, Russian and Finnish. He also worked as a columnist, editor and features writer for The Guardian, The European, the Daily Telegraph, The Herald (in the UK), The Age (in Australia), The Village (in Ireland) and many more, and was shortlisted (eight times) for the UK Columnist of Year award. He has won three Gold TABPI awards for the best regular column. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Vitali is a popular public speaker and media commentator, with a long history of regular appearances on TV and radio. Vitali’s teaching record includes numerous lectures and seminars in Creative Writing, Journalism, and Linguistics at universities in the UK, Europe and Australia. His main genres are travel and autobiography, but he has also published several works of fiction and literary memoirs, with Life as a Literary Device: a memoir of survival (Beautiful Books, 2009), a critically acclaimed paean to the power of literature, as his favourite. Vitali lives with his partner Christine and Tashi, a furry Tibetan Terrier, in a small English town not far from London.

Vitali Vitaliev


Magdalene College, University of Cambridge 2021/22
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