He was born in 1961 in the family of a military doctor. In 1983, he graduated with honors from the Faculty of Philology of Chernivtsi State University. He taught at this university, was the scientific editor of the university publishing house. Later he taught at the Kemerovo State University. Since 1991 — at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU). Professor at the Institute of Philology and History, RGGU.
Since 2003 — Director of the Center for Contemporary Russian Literature. Since 2008, he has been Head of the Department of the History of Contemporary Russian Literature at the Institute of Philology and History of the Russian State University for the Humanities. Since 2006 — Professor of the Department of Art Criticism at the V. Nemirovich-Danchenko School-Studio at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater; author of the project of meetings of students of the Studio School with poets and prose writers "Contemporary Russian Literature: Faces and Voices". Since 2013 — Director of the Vladimir Dahl Museum of the History of Russian Literature. He gave lectures at universities in Germany, Poland, USA.
Member of the Writers' Union of Russia and the Union of Journalists of Russia. Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) (since 1998), full member of the Academy of Russian Contemporary Literature, Vice President of the Russian Cultural Society. Chairman of the Literary Academy of the Big Book National Literary Prize. Member of the jury of the literary Apollon Grigoriev Award (1999–2005), the Poet Russian National Prize, the Enlightener Prize. Chairman of the Public Council of the Debut Independent Literary Prize.