Irina Reyn’s novels capture the immigrant experience of being simultaneously an outsider and a member of a tight-knit community. Reyn immigrated to America with her family at age seven, in 1981, and settled in the Rego Park neighborhood of Queens, New York. She earned an MFA from Bennington College as well as an MA in Slavic languages and literature from the University of Pittsburgh, where she began teaching in 2006. She began her writing career as a short story writer and edited an anthology, Living on the Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take on the Garden State, in 2007. Her 2008 debut novel, What Happened to Anna K, is a modern retelling of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina set in the Russian expatriate community of New York. Her second novel, 2016’s The Imperial Wife, interweaves the story of Catherine the Great with that of a Russian-born art dealer in present-day New York as both women navigate marriages with less powerful men. As of 2017 Reyn continues to teach English at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Irina Reyn." (Viewed on May 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/reyn-irina>.