Popadanstvo books are written by people of all ages: the youngest author, born in 1991, could easily be the grandson of the oldest, born in 1946. However, the vast majority were born from 1961 through 1973.
That said, recall that there are significantly fewer people in the older generation in Russia. Thus, the data has been adjusted to account for the share of a given age in the overall population as of 2020 (see the chart below).
We thus see a convergence in the share of the older generation of authors, though the peaks remain the same, with the largest number of authors born in 1961 and 1973. It is also clear that interest in the genre falls off among writers born after 1978. So, apart from the late Soviet generation, the peaks for popadanstvo authors are 1963, 1971-73 and 1978.
Let's try to hypothesize why that is so.
In 1991, those born in 1963 were 28 years old. They had graduated from the institute five years before – a career, military or civilian, opened up before them. But the crisis of 1991 deprived them of all those prospects. This was the generation that employers swiftly laid off – they had little experience, not to mention few resources and little authority. Many had to change their profession and pass through the crucible of market reforms.
Those born in 1971-73 had just entered university and immediately (and unexpectedly) discovered that the profession they had chosen didn’t offer them any opportunities. Some changed their major, some kept their profession, but the breakdown of the future affected everyone in one way or another.
The last peak birth year was 1978. Perhaps that is the last generation that experienced, albeit in adolescence, the Soviet Union. For them, the USSR was the last breath of a happy childhood that ended with the collapse of the country. Their parents were the first post-war generation – all of a sudden in 1991 they felt not needed. And it could not but affect their children. Nevertheless, without in-depth interviews and a serious analysis of the biographies of the authors, this remains just a hypothesis and should be taken with a grain of salt.