Maria Sudayeva was born in 1954 in Vladivostok to a Russian father and a Korean mother. She briefly lived in Korea and China, but primarily in Vietnam, where she spent her childhood. She stayed for a long time in Hanoi, where she learned French.
She was sickly, suffered from psychological ailments, and was frequently hospitalised. Her stays in psychiatric wards heightened her sensitivity to the realm of mental illnesses, which can be found in her texts, combined with a phantasmagorical totalitarian world and an unflinching look at the actual socialism in which she had been raised.
Her conflicted relationships with post-Soviet society (she couldn’t accept the prospect of a market economy, and she denounced the mafia) drove her to found, with Ivan Sudayev, a short-lived anarchist group. At the beginning of the nineties, she dreamed of going into exile forever in Southeast Asia, in spite of her poor health and a precarious professional situation. Then she came back to Vladivostok.
She took her own life in February, 2003.
Her manuscripts, several pages of which had been written directly in French or self-translated, have been preserved by her family.
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