"A VERBAL FIREWORKS OF HUMOR, TRASH, AND PHILOSOPHY... AN ABSOLUTE LITERARY DISCOVERY."
Titel Magazin on Sullivan's Sibirischer Schwindel (Die Andere Bibliothek, 2002)
"SULLIVAN'S LUCID RETELLING OF THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF MARXISM IS UNPARALLELED."
Reconstruction Magazine on Marx for a Post-Communist Era (Routledge, 2001)
Born in 1966, Stefan Sullivan grew up in Washington D.C., southern Germany, and rural Illinois. He studied Political Science and Russian at Middlebury, and spent his junior year abroad in Paris and Moscow. After a year at SRI International, a Washington defense contractor, he embarked on an Oxford PhD about the Christ-figure in 19th Century German philosophy. Throughout the early 1990s, Sullivan also routinely visited Russia in various guises: as journalist, NGO operative in the war zones of the Caucasus, and quixotic adventurer in the outer reaches of Siberia.
After completing his dissertation in 1993, Sullivan returned to Siberia as a "biznesmen" in the oil and gas region of Tyumen: funny money, dark suits and the baby blue Mercedes 6-door; in short, material for a first novel. Published in Germany in 2002, the novel won widespread critical acclaim, a Discovery Award at the Hollywood Film Festival and 20 Best Novels of the Year (Hamburg City Library). Pioneering the subgenre of "arctic gonzo," the novel follows the narrator through a gamut of youthful folly: from tracking the remnants of shamanism to Rolex-wristed money grabs in remote towns with very little daylight. (See Sibirischer Schwindel, Eichborn, Frankfurt, 2002, also at amazon.de)
His next book, Marx for a Post-Communist Era: On Poverty, Corruption and Banality (Routledge, 2002), heralded a return to philosophy, but in a more accessible non-academic style. Drawing on extensive exposure to the developing world (besides Russia, he also lived two years in Thailand in the late 1990s), it's an essayistic take on Marx's legacy and the ongoing tensions between market interests and the public good.
In addition to books and academic articles, Sullivan has authored essays and reviews for PLAYBOY (Germany), The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington City Paper, The Washington Times, and Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany`s leading national daily. He has also made numerous radio appearances, and was most recently featured on CITYWIDE, WNYU 89.1 fm's award-winning arts and culture show. He lives in Washington DC.