Nina Berberova was born in 1901 in St. Petersburg, to a father of Armenian descent and a Russian mother. As a child she loved to read and think intensely, and without much prompting gravitated toward the local society of poets and intellectuals. Unfortunately, Nina's coming of age coincided with the 1917 Russian Revolution and overthrow of the Czar, and the new order did not have much use for poets, writers or artists, unless they wished to become voices of propaganda. Those who did not want to use their talents in that manner were often persecuted or sometimes even killed.
Shortly after the publication of her first poem in 1922, Berberova left St. Petersburg with another poet, Vladislav Khodasevich. They initially moved to Berlin, where many other Russian exiles had taken residence, and then drifted further around Europe, ultimately settling in Paris where Berberova would remain for the next twenty-five years.
Since Nina Berberova's 1993 death in Philadelphia, even more of her work has been published in several languages, as readers worldwide discover the elegant prose and observations of this survivor of so many tumultuous 20th century events.