How do you write about Russia for an American audience?
Michael Idov is a contributing writer at New York Magazine and the editor-in-chief of RUSSIA!, an English-language quarterly highlighting Russian art and design. He moved to the U.S. from the former U.S.S.R. at the age of 16, settling in Cleveland before moving to New York. After a degree in film studies from the University of Michigan, Michael embarked on a series of odd jobs that included anchoring a Russian news program and owning a failed coffee house, and ended with his joining the staff of New York. His writing has appeared in outlets as diverse as Slate, Vogue, Pitchfork Media, NPR, the New Republic and (in his native Russian) Moscow's Bolshoi Gorod. Idov's on-and-off band Spielerfrau, playing what the New Yorker dubbed "sophisticated, reverb-drenched rock with intelligent lyrics," is set to release its second LP in April 2008. His first novel, "Ground Up," will be published in early 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The challenge is avoiding he memes of Cold War reporting.