"Sullivan's adventure novels are a delightful take on frontier capitalism."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany's leading national daily
"A marriage of orgiastic prose and sober observations."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland's leading national daily
"A dazzling ethnography of 1990s Siberia."
FALTER, Austria's leading national weekly
Discovery Book Award, HOLLYWOOD FILM FESTIVAL
STAFF PICK OF THE MONTH, POLITICS AND PROSE,
Washington DC's leading independent book store.
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 in Washington D.C. working on trade policy, he embarked on an Oxford PhD about Hegel and the Incarnate God. Throughout the early 1990s, Sullivan also routinely visited Russia in various guises: as journalist, NGO operative in the war zones of the Caucasus, and wanderer 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 tracing the legacy of shamanism in the coldest city on earth to the shadier sides of cowboy capitalism (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.
Sullivan has authored essays and reviews for PLAYBOY (Germany), The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington City Paper, The Washington Times, and Ethnic and Racial Studies. Among many radio appearances, he was recently featured on CITYWIDE, WNYU 89.1 fm's award-winning arts and culture show. He lives in Washington DC.