As we prepare for a Trump Presidency that may resemble that of his admired counterpart Vladimir Putin, PEN America turned for advice to seven Russian authors and journalists who have been forced to fight for their independence. We asked: What are your rules for writers to survive in an autocracy? 

Boris Akunin, author of The Winter Queen

You can live in an autocracy, if society resists it.

And while there was resistance, I stayed in Russia. When resistance ceased, I left. This was my way of survival, my personal psychotherapy. I have already been away from my homeland for more than two years, and I don’t plan to return there, not unless changes begin to happen.

One of the happy privileges of the writer’s profession lies in the fact that you can work anywhere. You need no one but yourself.

I miss my country, I long for it. But I don’t want to see it as it became in 2014: brainwashed and, worst of all, submissive.