Irina Prochorowa studied English Literature in Moscow. She was editor of the journal »Literaturnoe Obozrenie« and founded the independent academic journal »Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie«, of which she is chief editor, as well as the eponymous publishing house. Prokhorova regularly organises academic conventions. She was chairwoman of the Russian Booker Prize Committee and was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005.
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