Ian Frazier’s Siberian Travels

The New Yorker writer travels across vast Siberia to bring back cold tales of the new Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the foothills of Karatash, near Abakan, the capital of the Khakassia region in Siberia, 2010 (AP)

Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place. Eight times zones. Desperate winters. Brutal history. Gulags. In Russia even now, says writer Ian Frazier, Siberia is as much a threat as a destination.

Frazier is a celebrated humorist and writer for The New Yorker. He’s written seriously about other big places — Indian reservation country, the Great Plains.

Now he’s taking on Siberia, in all its grand scale and grubby reality. Kamchatcka. Vladivostok. Ikutsk. Yakutsk.

We head to Siberia with New Yorker writer Ian Frazier.

-Tom Ashbrook


Ian Frazier, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of the new book “Travels in Siberia.” You can read an excerpt in PDF format here or at

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