Famous Russian Essayists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 11, 1821
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 9, 1881
Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky is remembered as one of the pioneers of existentialism. He is best known for psychological and philosophical themes in his works, such as Crime and Punishment and The Idiot. He was arrested for being critical of Tsarist Russia and spent a 4-year prison term in Siberia.

 2 Maxim Gorky

Maxim Gorky
Famous As: Writer, Political Activist
Birthdate: March 28, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Died: June 18, 1936

Maxim Gorky was a writer and political activist. He is best remembered for founding the socialist realism literary method. Gorky, who was nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature on five occasions, published several novels that were later adapted into plays, films, and operas. In 1938, Valery Zhelobinsky adapted Gorky's novel Mother into an opera.

 3 Joseph Brodsky

Joseph Brodsky
Famous As: Essayist & Poet
Birthdate: May 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: January 28, 1996
Nobel Prize-winning Russian-American poet Joseph Brodsky is remembered for his elegiac and lyric poems. While he had started writing poems soon after leaving school, he was sentenced to hard labor by the Soviets for his irregular work record. He later moved to the U.S., where he taught at various universities.
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 4 Eduard Limonov

Eduard Limonov
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dzerzhinsk, Russia
Died: March 17, 2020

The firebrand National Bolshevik Party leader Eduard Limonov gained fame with his first novel, It's Me, Eddie, which contained explicit sexual imagery and obscene language, and was written while he was in literary exile in New York. He was also part of The Other Russia, a group of Putin opposers.

 5 Lou Andreas-Salomé

Lou Andreas-Salomé
Famous As: Psychoanalyst
Birthdate: February 12, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: February 5, 1937

Russian-born German author Lou Andreas-Salomé apparently rejected renowned philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s marriage proposal and then married a professor instead. A skilled psychoanalyst, she was also close to Rainer Maria Rilke and Sigmund Freud. She was one of the first to offer a psychoanalytic perspective to female sexuality.

 6 Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zima, Russia
Died: April 1, 2017

Russian author Yevgeny Yevtushenko, known for works such as Wild Berries and Bratsk Station, is also remembered for his advocacy of artistic freedom in Russian literature rather than a reliance on political overtones. Following the death of Stalin, he focused on using unadulterated language and lyrics with a personal touch.

 7 Victor Pelevin

Victor Pelevin
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Russian Little Booker Prize-winning author Victor Pelevin is known for his unique style of mingling pop culture and science fiction in his works. A qualified engineer, he worked as a journalist and a copywriter before he began writing. His works such as Omon Ra mirror the despair of the Russian youth.

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 8 Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: December 27, 1938

 9 Boris Akunin

Boris Akunin
Famous As: Writer of detective and historical fiction
Birthdate: May 20, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zestafoni, Georgia

 10 Korney Chukovsky

Korney Chukovsky
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 31, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: October 28, 1969

 11 Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Famous As: Film Critic
Birthdate: September 5, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

 12 Fazil Iskander

Fazil Iskander
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sokhumi, Abkhazia
Died: July 31, 2016

 13 Saul Tchernichowsky

Saul Tchernichowsky
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 20, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Crimea, Ukraine
Died: October 14, 1943

 14 Konstantin Batyushkov

Konstantin Batyushkov
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 29, 1787
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vologda, Russia
Died: July 19, 1855

 15 Fyodor Abramov

Fyodor Abramov
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 29, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Verkola, Russia
Died: May 14, 1983

 16 Vasily Trediakovsky

Vasily Trediakovsky
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 5, 1703
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Astrakhan, Russia
Died: August 17, 1768

 17 Vladimir Maksimov

Vladimir Maksimov
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 27, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 26, 1995