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Anna Starobinets is a journalist who writes on cultural issues for a number of Russian publications, such as Expert and Russian Reporter. She is also a scriptwriter and perhaps Russia’s preeminent author of horror fiction. The Awkward Age, her collection of short stories, has been translated into English by Hesperus. She is also the author of the novel Refuge F/A; Cold Spell – from which her story in this issue was taken; The First Squad. The Moment of Truth; The Living (also published in English by Hesperus); as well as two books for children. All of her novels have been nominated for the National Bestseller Prize. She lives in Moscow and is married to Alexander Garros, the well-known author of the international bestseller Headcrusher.