Alexandra Popoff

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Alexandra Popoff is the award-winning author of literary biographies Sophia Tolstoy (2010), The Wives: The Women Behind Russia’s Literary Giants (2012), and Tolstoy’s False Disciple: The Untold Story of Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Chertkov (2014). Her book The Wives became a Wall Street Journal “Best Book of the Year.” Popoff taught Russian literature and history at the University of Saskatchewan before turning to literary biography. She has contributed to Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail, National Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Born and raised in Moscow, she now lives in Canada.

Photograph ©The Philadelphia Inquirer

Books by this Author

As Leo Tolstoy’s wife, Sophia Tolstoy experienced both glory and condemnation during their forty-eight-year marriage. She was admired as the muse and literary assistant to one of the world’s most celebrated novelists. But when in later years Tolstoy became a towering public figure and founded a new brand of religion, she was scorned for her disagreements with him. And it is this version of Sophia—malicious, shrill, perennially at war with Tolstoy—that has gone down in the...

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. You live and learn.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. The Master from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. I want to be myself and to make the best use of my abilities.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. This sounds like a job interview, so I’ll reply “being a perfectionist.”

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. A new talent? I’d like make use of my existing talents – and hope there’s enough time to develop them.

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