Ludmila Ulitskaya (b. 1943) is one of Russia's leading prose writers; her works have achieved a vast and ardent following in Russia and have been translated into over twenty foreign languages. Born in Bashkorkostan (formerly Bashkiria, within the Russian Federation), she grew up in a Moscow communal apartment in an intellectual household. She earned a biology degree at Moscow State University (1967) and worked for many years as a geneticist, turning to literature only in her forties, when she also joined the staff as dramaturg (literary consultant) at the Moscow Jewish Theater. She achieved fame in the Russian literary world in 1992 with the publication in the nation's foremost literary journal, Novyi mir (New World), of her novella Sonechka. That work, and her 1996 novel Medea and Her Children, also published in Novyi mir, were nominated for the Booker Prize. She received the Booker in 2001 for her novel Kazus Kukotskogo (The Kukotsky Case).