The author of the story "Staircases" Vladimir Perts (b. 1946) is a professional art critic who studies the pre-war art of Leningrad. Like any thinking and feeling person, he can not help but return to the tragedy of the blockade in his thoughts, can not get rid of the desire to put himself in those circumstances. The story is an attempt by the author to experience an experience unknown to him, to convey the feelings and reflections of people of art who, despite everything, continued to think, create and resent. The characters of the story have prototypes, some have several of them, and the original texts of letters, diaries, and transcripts are introduced into the reflections and monologues of the characters.