Sofka Zinovieff was born to an English family with Russian roots. Her paternal grandparents were aristocrats who fled the Russian Revolution as children and settled in England, where they later met and married. Her father Peter Zinovieff was the founder of Electronic Music Studios, and throughout the 1970s their family home was a gathering place for many popular and avant-garde musicians. Sofka studied social anthropology at Cambridge University. While researching her doctoral thesis on modern Greek identity and tourism, she traveled to Greece for the first time and came to love the country. In 1990, she made her first visit to Russia, where she met Vassilis Papadimitriou in the Press Office of Moscow’s Greek Embassy. They later married and had two children. Sofka has worked as a freelance journalist for British publications, including The Independent Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Financial Times. She's the author of several books, including Red Princess: A Revolutionary Life (2007), a biography of her grandmother Princess Sofka Dolgorouky, and The House on Paradise Street (2012), a novel. She lives with her family near Athens.