Maria Rybakova obtained her doctorate from Yale University in 2004, and her M.A. in classical
philology from the Free University of Berlin in 1997. Her first novel, Anna Grom and Her Ghost,
was published in 1999. Several novels and short stories followed. Her books received several
literary prizes and have been translated into German, Spanish, and French; her book-length
poem Gnedich appeared in English translation in 2015.
Before coming to Nazarbayev University, she was Associate Professor at San Diego State University, Lecturer at California State University Long Beach and at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China, Capstone Scholar/Writer-in-Residence at Bard College, and Writer-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Central European University, Budapest.
In 2017-18 she held a visiting fellowship at the New Europe College in Bucharest, and in 2019-20 she was U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the A.I. Cuza University in Romania. In addition to being a novelist, Maria Rybakova has authored articles on Simone Weil’s philosophy; on the letters of Rilke, Tsvetayeva, and
Pasternak; on Nabokov; and on the reception of Greek tragedy. Her current research interests
lay in the intersection between literature and history of religions (especially Mircea Eliade) and