Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, in the former Soviet Union, in 1979, and emigrated to the United States in 1988. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The New Republic, The Nation, Harper’s, Vogue, The London Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal and other publications (see Articles), as well as in anthologies and works by others. (See Miscellany.)
Boris received a degree in Russian literature from Princeton University in 2001. Between 2001 and 2004, he was on the editorial staff of The New Yorker. In 2003, he edited “Wild East: Stories from the Last Frontier” (Random House), a collection of short stories about the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the early post-Communist years. In 2004, he received the Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Arts & Criticism, from the American Jewish Press Association, for “The Flaunted Necklace” (Forward, November 28, 2003; see Articles). In 2005, Boris received a Fulbright research grant to Istanbul, Turkey. In 2006, Boris co-wrote and edited the U. S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s report on Hurricane Katrina.
In 2010, Boris received his MFA in fiction from New York University, where he was a New York Times Foundation Fellow. He was a 2010-11 Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass., and received a 2011-12 Fellowship from The New York Foundation of the Arts in Nonfiction. He received 2012 residencies from Mesa Refuge in northern California; the Edward Albee Foundation in Montauk; the Wildacres Retreat in North Carolina; the Blue Mountain Center in the Adirondacks; and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming. He is also one of the recipients of CEC Arts Link’s 2012-13 grants for American artists doing research in Eastern Europe; he will be traveling to Ukraine to collect recipes for an unusual Ukrainian cookbook.
In early 2013, Boris’ novel A Replacement Life, the story of a failed journalist who starts forging Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, sold to HarperCollins for publication in spring 2014. He is now at work on his next.
- Foreign rights to A Replacement Life have sold in Israel, France, and the Netherlands!
- Jonathan Katz’s The Big Truck That Went By: How The World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster, edited by Boris, was selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Young Writers pick for 2013, an honor accorded to less than 5% of the books considered.
- Constance Rosenblum’s profile of Boris’s apartment in The New York Times was selected for inclusion in her forthcoming anthology of Habitats columns, Habitats: Private Lives in the Big City.
- Boris is teaching a writing workshop at the Lake George Arts Project Sat-Sun April 28-29, 2012, as part of his 2011-12 NYFA grant.
- Boris will read from A Replacement Life at “Translating from the Old World to the New: Literature and Music from Eastern Europe,” sponsored by the Queens Council on the Arts, at DaMikelle in Forest Hills, 6:30PM Tuesday, April 24, 2012.
- Boris will read from an essay selected for 1+30: The Best of myStory, a commemoration of 130 years of service by HIAS, the organization that brought his family to the United States, at the Center for Jewish History at 3PM on Sunday, April 22, 2012.
- Boris will read from his just-finished novel, along with Arthur Phillips and Darin Strauss, as part of the Vica Miller Literary Salon at the William Bennett Gallery in Soho on January 31, 2012.
- Boris will appear on a panel of writers talking about Russian-American literature at the JCC in Manhattan on January 19, 2012.
- Boris’ essay “Roman Holiday,” which originally appeared in Departures Magazine (see Articles) has been chosen for inclusion in a commemorative publication celebrating the 130th anniversary of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which helped bring Boris’ family to the United States.
- Read a profile of Boris’ apartment in The New York Times
- Listen to Boris on The Leonard Lopate Show talk about Wild East
- Read an interview with Boris upon the publication of Wild East