Famous Russian Writers

From the world’s most reading nation emerge writers and litterateurs who with their plethora of literary works have left an indelible mark on the world literature. Does this leave you confused? Well, it is Russia and Russian writers that we are talking about. Fourth largest book producer in the world, Russia is home to five Nobel laureates in Literature and address of many eminent novelists and short story writers. It roots in literature can be traced back to the Middle Age. The 19th century saw the boom of the Golden era of Russian literature when romanticism was at its zenith. Nikolai Gogol became the first greatest Russian novelist who was followed by Nikolai Leskov, Ivan Turgenev and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin. While prose flourished at its steepest best, it was not until the emergence of Ivan Goncharov, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky and their works that Russian literature gained international fame. Their works were characterized by well-conceived plot, powerful characters, crisp story and a brilliant disposition of events in the life of the protagonists and characters. The 20th century Russia saw the likes of Aleksandr Kuprin, Ivan Bunin, Aleksey Remizov and Dmitry Merezhkovsky producing some of the exceptionally excellent Russian literature. With this segment, explore the life and works of famous Russian writers.

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 Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy
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Birthdate: September 9, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 20, 1910

Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, is widely considered as one of the greatest authors ever. After experiencing a profound moral crisis in the 1870s, Tolstoy went through a phase of spiritual awakening, which had a great impact on his subsequent works that incorporated ideas on nonviolent resistance. These works influenced personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, thereby effectively changing the course of history.

 2 Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov
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Birthdate: January 29, 1860
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German, Russian
Died: July 15, 1904

Anton Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer and playwright. Widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of short fiction, Chekhov's works have influenced the progression of the modern short story. As a playwright, Anton Chekhov is credited with influencing the rise of modernism in theatre, along with August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.

 3 Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 6, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 10, 1837
Legendary Russian playwright, poet, and novelist Alexander Pushkin is considered one of the most prominent figures of the Romantic era and of Russian literature. He is remembered for his poem Ode to Liberty, one of his works that led him to be exiled by Tsar Alexander I. 

 4 Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: April 22, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Swiss, American, Russian
Died: July 2, 1977
Russian author Vladimir Nabokov, also known by his pen name, Vladimir Sirin, is best remembered for his controversial novel Lolita. His other works include the novel Pale Fire and his memoir, Speak, Memory. He was also an entomologist, specializing in lepidoptery. He also liked composing chess problems.
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 5 Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky
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Famous As: Russian novelist
Birthdate: November 11, 1821
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
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.

 6 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Russian, Russian
Died: August 3, 2008

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist, philosopher, historian, and political prisoner. An outspoken critic of Communism and the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn helped raise awareness of the Gulag, a government agency that oversaw forced labor camps set up in accordance with Vladimir Lenin's order. His non-fiction text The Gulag Archipelago was a highly influential work and sold millions of copies.

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 7 Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol
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Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: April 1, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 4, 1852
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 8 Maxim Gorky

Maxim Gorky
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Famous As: Writer & Dramatist
Birthdate: March 28, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
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.

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 9 Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 7, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian, Ukrainian, Russian
Died: August 21, 1940

A Russian politician, political theorist, and revolutionary, Leon Trotsky developed a political ideology called Trotskyism, which eventually had a considerable impact on Russian politics. He also played a vital role in leading the Red Army to victory in the Russian Civil War.

 10 Boris Pasternak

Boris Pasternak
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Famous As: Poet & Writer
Birthdate: February 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Russian, Russian
Died: May 30, 1960

Son of an artist father and a pianist mother, Boris Pasternak initially wished to become a musician. He is best known for his novel Doctor Zhivago, set against backdrop of the Russian Revolution. The Soviet Communists forced him to decline the Nobel Prize, which his descendants later accepted.

 11 Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Bulgakov
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 15, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 10, 1940

Mikhail Bulgakov was a Russian writer, playwright, and medical doctor best remembered for his work The Master and Margarita, a novel which has been acclaimed as one of the 20th century's masterpieces. Over the years, his works have inspired several other personalities, including Salman Rushdie and Mick Jagger.    

 12 Gala Dalí

Gala Dalí
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: September 7, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: June 10, 1982

 13 Viktor Tsoi

Viktor Tsoi
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Famous As: Poet, Actor, Singer, Guitarist, Composer, Songwriter
Birthdate: June 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
Died: August 15, 1990

 14 Eugene Mirman

Eugene Mirman
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American, Russian

 15 Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik
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Famous As: Chess player, Writer
Birthdate: June 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian

 16 Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Menachem Mendel Schneerson
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Famous As: Rabbi
Birthdate: April 18, 1902
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Ukrainian, American, Russian
Died: June 12, 1994

Menachem Mendel Schneerson was an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential Jewish leaders, Schneerson is best remembered for leading the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Under his leadership, the movement became one of the world's most influential and widespread Jewish movements. Menachem Mendel Schneerson was posthumously honored with the Congressional Gold Medal in 1994.

 17 Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova
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Famous As: Writer, Translator, Literary critic, Poet
Birthdate: June 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Ukrainian, Russian
Died: March 5, 1966

 18 Vladimir Mayakovsky

Vladimir Mayakovsky
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 19, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian
Died: April 14, 1930

 19 Oleg Gordievsky

Oleg Gordievsky
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Famous As: Secret Agent
Birthdate: October 10, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Russian
Former Soviet security agent Oleg Gordievsky’s 11-year stint as a secret agent with the British intelligence service MI6 resulted in him being labeled a traitor and sentenced to death by Russia. The author of KGB: The Inside Story now lives alone, in a high-security zone in a British suburb.

 20 Ivan Turgenev

Ivan Turgenev
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 9, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: September 3, 1883

It is believed Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev was highly inspired by his dominant mother in his younger days and thus created strong female characters in his novels later. He is remembered for popularizing Russian literature and realism in the West. One of his most notable works was Father and Sons.

 21 Vladimir Vysotsky

Vladimir Vysotsky
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 25, 1980

 22 Joseph Brodsky

Joseph Brodsky
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Famous As: Essayist & Poet
Birthdate: May 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
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.

 23 Nicholas Roerich

Nicholas Roerich
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Famous As: Philosopher, Painter, Choreographer, Writer, Archaeologist, Poet, Diplomat
Birthdate: October 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Russian
Died: December 13, 1947

 24 Dima Bilan

Dima Bilan
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 24, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Russian

 25 Viktor Korchnoi

Viktor Korchnoi
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Famous As: Chess player, Writer
Birthdate: March 23, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
Died: June 6, 2016

 26 Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov
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Famous As: writer
Birthdate: October 15, 1814
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 27, 1841

 27 Alexander Bogdanov

Alexander Bogdanov
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: August 22, 1873
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Russian
Died: April 7, 1928

 28 Mikhail Lomonosov

Mikhail Lomonosov
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Famous As: Scientist, Poet, Geologist, Astronomer
Birthdate: November 19, 1711
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Russian
Died: April 15, 1765

 29 Taras Shevchenko

Taras Shevchenko
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Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: Ukrainian, Russian

 30 Sergei Yesenin

Sergei Yesenin
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Famous As: poet, writer
Birthdate: September 21, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: December 28, 1925

 31 Maya Deren

Maya Deren
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: April 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: October 13, 1961

 32 Vladimir Propp

Vladimir Propp
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Famous As: anthropologist, linguist, writer, university teacher, literary critic
Birthdate: April 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: August 22, 1970

 33 Arkady Strugatsky

Arkady Strugatsky
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: October 12, 1991

 34 Eduard Limonov

Eduard Limonov
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Famous As: Writer, Dissident, Politician, Poet, Human rights activist, Journalist
Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: French, Russian

 35 Alexander Berkman

Alexander Berkman
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Famous As: Editor
Birthdate: November 21, 1870
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: French, Russian
Died: June 28, 1936

 36 Vladimir Bukovsky

Vladimir Bukovsky
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Famous As: Writer, Human rights activist
Birthdate: December 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Russian

 37 Hayim Nahman Bialik

Hayim Nahman Bialik
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Russian
Died: July 4, 1934

 38 Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Russian
Died: April 1, 2017

 39 Marina Tsvetaeva

Marina Tsvetaeva
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Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: May 28, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian, Russian
Died: August 31, 1941

 40 Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam
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Famous As: Poet, Writer, Translator, Literary critic, Essayist
Birthdate: January 15, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Polish, Russian
Died: December 27, 1938

 41 Ivan Bunin

Ivan Bunin
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 8, 1953

 42 Natalia Pushkina

Natalia Pushkina
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Famous As: Russian poet
Birthdate: August 27, 1812
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 26, 1863

 43 Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
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Famous As: writer, Poet
Birthdate: January 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 23, 1945

 44 Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg
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Famous As: Soviet writer
Birthdate: January 27, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Ukrainian, Russian
Died: August 31, 1967

 45 Alexander Herzen

Alexander Herzen
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Famous As: Father of Russian socialism
Birthdate: April 6, 1812
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Russian
Died: January 21, 1870

 46 Mikhail Sholokhov

Mikhail Sholokhov
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 24, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Russian
Died: February 21, 1984

 47 Zemfira

Zemfira
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Famous As: Singer, Composer, Poet, Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 26, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian

 48 Alexander Blok

Alexander Blok
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 28, 1880
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Russian
Died: August 7, 1921

 49 Boris Savinkov

Boris Savinkov
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Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: January 31, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Ukrainian, Russian
Died: May 7, 1925

 50 Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia

Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia
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Birthdate: August 22, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Russian
Died: June 15, 1915