Famous Russian Writers

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 1 
Leo Tolstoy
(One of the Greatest Authors of All Time)
Leo Tolstoy
24
Birthdate: September 9, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
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 
Fyodor Dostoevsky
(Best Known for His Novella Notes from The 'Underground')
Fyodor Dostoevsky
5
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.
 3 
Anton Chekhov
(One of the Greatest Writers of All Time)
Anton Chekhov
9
Birthdate: January 29, 1860
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Taganrog, Russia
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.

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 4 
Alexander Pushkin
(The Greatest Russian Poet and the Founder of Modern Russian Literature)
Alexander Pushkin
10
Birthdate: May 26, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: January 29, 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. 
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 5 
Vladimir Nabokov
(Best Known For His Novels 'Lolita' and 'Pale Fire')
Vladimir Nabokov
6
Birthdate: April 23, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
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.
 6 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
(Novelist & Writer Best Known for His Work 'The Gulag Archipelago')
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
11
Birthdate: December 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kislovodsk, Russia
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 
Maxim Gorky
(Russian Writer Best Known for His Works 'The Lower Depths', 'Mother', 'Chelkash' and 'Children of the Sun')
Maxim Gorky
5
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.

 8 
Boris Pasternak
(Russian Poet & Novelist Who Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958)
Boris Pasternak
6
Birthdate: February 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
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.

 9 
Mikhail Bulgakov
(Novelist and Playwright Best Known for His Novel 'The Master and Margarita')
Mikhail Bulgakov
4
Birthdate: May 15, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
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.    

 10 
Ivan Turgenev
(Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet & Popularizer of Russian Literature in the West)
Ivan Turgenev
5
Birthdate: November 9, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oryol, Russia
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.

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 11 
Vladimir Mayakovsky
(Russian Poet and Playwright Who was a Prominent Figure of the Russian Futurist Movement)
Vladimir Mayakovsky
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baghdati, Georgia
Died: April 14, 1930

Vladimir Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet playwright, poet, artist, and actor. He was a prominent figure of the Russian Futurist movement in the pre-Revolution period leading to 1917. He produced a large and diverse body of work during his career. He admired Vladimir Lenin and supported the ideology of the Bolsheviks. He was popular outside Russia as well. 

 12 
Dmitry Glukhovsky
(Author)
Dmitry Glukhovsky
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Russian-Israeli author Dmitry Glukhovsky gained fame with his first novel, Metro 2033, which he published on his own site at age 18, and which later inspired an interactive experiment and a video game franchise. He has also worked for Mayak Radio Station, EuroNews TV, and Deutsche Welle.

 13 
Anna Akhmatova
(One of the Most Significant Russian Poets of 20th Century)
Anna Akhmatova
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Odessa, Ukraine
Died: March 5, 1966

One of the greatest Russian women poets, Anna Akhmatova had started writing poems at age 11. She was part of the Acmeists, who laid down their own style, Acmeism. Poema bez geroya and Requiem remain two of her finest works. She later wrote about the horrors of the Stalinist regime.

 14 
Nikolai Gogol
(Russian Novelist, Short Story Writer and Playwright)
Nikolai Gogol
5
Birthdate: April 1, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Velyki Sorochyntsi, Ukraine
Died: March 4, 1852

Nikolai Gogol was a Ukrainian author who redefined Russian literature with his novels such as Dead Souls and his short stories such as The Overcoat and Diary of a Madman. Most of his works were influenced by Ukrainian folklore. He was typically fond of the grotesque as a literary element.

 15 
Joseph Brodsky
(Poet, Essayist and Winner of 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Joseph Brodsky
6
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.
 16 
Mikhail Lermontov
(Russian Romantic Writer, Poet and Painter)
Mikhail Lermontov
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1814
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: July 27, 1841

One of the most significant Russian romantic authors of the Golden Age of Russian Poetry, Mikhail Lermontov is remembered for his iconic novel A Hero of Our Time. His initial poems, such as Prisoner of the Caucasus, were highly Byronic. His writings laid the foundation for the Russian psychological novel.

 17 
Eduard Limonov
(Writer and Founder of 'National Bolshevik Party')
Eduard Limonov
4
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.

 18 
Sergei Yesenin
(One of the Most Popular Russian Lyric Poets of the 20th Century)
Sergei Yesenin
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Konstantinovo, Russia
Died: December 28, 1925

Born into a peasant family, Russian lyrical poet Sergei Yesenin was a significant figure of Imaginism. Known as "the last poet of wooden Russia," Yesenin soared to fame with works such as Radunitsa. He later committed suicide in a hotel, having written his last poem in his own blood.

 19 
Boris Strugatsky
(Authors)
Boris Strugatsky
3
Birthdate: April 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: November 19, 2012
 20 
Arkady Strugatsky
(Author)
Arkady Strugatsky
4
Birthdate: August 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Batumi
Died: October 12, 1991
 21 
Alexander Berkman
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1870
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: June 28, 1936

Alexander Berkman was a Russian-American anarchist and author. He was famous for both his political activism and his writing and was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century. He served as the editor of fellow anarchist Emma Goldman's anarchist journal, Mother Earth. He suffered from ill-health in his later years and died by suicide. 

 22 
Lou Andreas-Salomé
(Russian Novelist, Essayist and Psychoanalyst)
Lou Andreas-Salomé
4
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.

 23 
Maya Deren
(Ukrainian-born American Filmmaker Who Abandoned Established Rules of Filmmaking and Created Her Own Techniques)
Maya Deren
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: October 13, 1961

Maya Deren was a Ukrainian-born American filmmaker known for her experimental work. She played a major role in promoting the avant-garde in the mid-20th century. A multifaceted personality, she was also a dancer, choreographer, film theorist, photographer, and writer. She abandoned established rules of filmmaking and created her own techniques. Sadly, she died at the young age of 44.  

 24 
Ivan Bunin
(The First Russian Writer to Receive the Nobel Prize for Literature)
Ivan Bunin
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Voronezh, Russia
Died: November 8, 1953

Ivan Bunin was a Russian writer whose stories and poems are regarded as one of the richest collection of works in the Russian language. In 1933, Ivan Bunin became the first Russian writer to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature. Subsequently, he donated 100,000 francs to a charity fund.

 25 
Isaac Babel
(Russian Author and Journalist Who Is Remembered for His Iconic Short Story Collections)
Isaac Babel
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Odesa, Ukraine
Died: January 27, 1940

Russian author Isaac Babel was a reporter before plunging into full-time writing. He is remembered for his short story collections Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories. One of his most popular stories was The Story of My Dovecote. He was part of the Soviet 1st Cavalry Army as Kiril Lyutov and documented the Polish-Soviet War.

 26 
Prince Dimitri Romanov
(Author)
Prince Dimitri Romanov
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cap d'Antibes, France
Died: December 31, 2016
 27 
Vladimir Bukovsky
(Russian-Born British Human Rights Activist and Writer)
Vladimir Bukovsky
3
Birthdate: December 30, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belebey, Russia
Died: October 27, 2019

Vladimir Bukovsky was a Russian-born British writer and human rights activist. An important member of the Soviet dissident movement, Bukovsky spent 12 years in prisons, psychiatric prison-hospitals, and labor camps of the Soviet Union. A neurophysiologist, Bukovsky is celebrated for his efforts to expose Soviet Union's political abuse of psychiatry. In 2001, he was awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.

 28 
Vasily Grossman
(Writer)
Vasily Grossman
4
Birthdate: December 12, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berdychiv, Ukraine
Died: September 14, 1964

Russian author and journalist, Vasily Grossman, by training a chemical engineer, began writing fulltime at the age of twenty-five, eventually publishing several short stories and novels, including Life and Fate and Forever Flowing. Considered a threat, these works were later censured. A war correspondent during WWII, he was also one of the first journalists to write on Treblinka extermination camp.

 29 
Leo Tolstoy bibliography
(Writer)
Leo Tolstoy bibliography
3
Birthdate: 1828 AD
Birthplace: Russia
Died: 1910 AD

Legendary Russian author Leo Tolstoy was one of the greatest novelists of the world. Best known for his realistic fiction and cult novels such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina, he had also penned plays such as The Power of Darkness and was nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times.

 30 
Ilya Ehrenburg
(Poet)
Ilya Ehrenburg
4
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: August 31, 1967
 31 
Osip Mandelstam
(Poet)
Osip Mandelstam
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: December 27, 1938
 32 
Victor Pelevin
(One of the Most Interesting Writers to Have Come Out of Contemporary Russia)
Victor Pelevin
3
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.

 33 
Alexander Ostrovsky
(Russian Playwright)
Alexander Ostrovsky
2
Birthdate: April 12, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: June 14, 1886

One of the greatest Russian playwrights to have ever lived, Alexander Ostrovsky represented the realistic period. A law school graduate, he initially worked as a law clerk. His play Bankrot was banned because of its controversial topic. He was also associated with the Maly Theatre of Moscow.

 34 
Marina Tsvetaeva
(Russian Poet Who Lived during the Russian Revolution)
Marina Tsvetaeva
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: August 31, 1941

Remembered as one of the greatest Russian literary figures of the 20th century, Marina Tsvetaeva was an integral part of Russian symbolism. She faced the Russian Revolution and lost her youngest daughter to the famine that followed. After her husband’s execution under espionage accusations, she committed suicide at age 48.

 35 
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
(Writer Best Known for 'Babiyy Yar', a Political Poem)
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nizhneudinsk, 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.

 36 
Natalia Pushkina
(Former Poet who was wife of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin)
Natalia Pushkina
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1812
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tambov Oblast, Russia
Died: November 26, 1863
 37 
Alexander Herzen
(Russian Writer and Thinker Known as the ‘Father of Russian Socialism’)
Alexander Herzen
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1812
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: January 21, 1870

Alexander Herzen was a Russian thinker and writer. Regarded as the father of Russian socialism, Herzen played an influential role in the political set up of the 19th and 20th century. He also influenced personalities like Isaiah Berlin, who regarded Herzen as his hero. Herzen's book My Past and Thoughts is considered one of the best autobiographies in Russian literature.

 38 
Boris Akunin
(Writer of detective and historical fiction)
Boris Akunin
4
Birthdate: May 20, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zestafoni, Georgia
 39 
Mikhail Sholokhov
(Novelist)
Mikhail Sholokhov
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Veshenskaya, Russia
Died: February 21, 1984
 40 
Yevgeny Zamyatin
(Novelist)
Yevgeny Zamyatin
3
Birthdate: February 1, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lebedyan, Russia
Died: March 10, 1937
 41 
Alexander Blok
(Poet)
Alexander Blok
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1880
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 7, 1921
 42 
Viktor Suvorov
(Former Soviet GRU officer who is the author of non-fiction books about World War II)
Viktor Suvorov
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barabash, Russia
 43 
Nâzım Hikmet
(Poet)
Nâzım Hikmet
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Thessaloniki
Died: June 3, 1963

Turkish poet and author Nâzım Hikmet was chiefly known as a Romantic Communist. After being jailed in Turkey for his political activities, he spent the rest of his life in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. He redefined Turkish literature with his free verse and poems such as Şeyh Bedreddin destanı.

 44 
Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia
(Grandson of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, and a poet)
Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: June 15, 1915
 45 
Sergei Dovlatov
(Writer, Journalist)
Sergei Dovlatov
3
Birthdate: September 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ufa, Russia
Died: August 24, 1990
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 46 
Hayim Nahman Bialik
(Russian-Jewish Author and a Pioneer of Modern Hebrew Poetry)
Hayim Nahman Bialik
4
Birthdate: January 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ivnytsia, Volhynian, Ukraine
Died: July 4, 1934

Russian-Jewish author and poet Hayim Nahman Bialik was one of the leading figures behind the development of modern Hebrew poetry. He grew up amid poverty and worked briefly as a lumber merchant, before becoming a teacher. Apart from expressing the anguish of the Jewish people through his works, he also translated many classics.

 47 
Varlam Shalamov
(Writer)
Varlam Shalamov
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vologda, Russia
Died: January 17, 1982
 48 
Viktor Shklovsky
(Novelist)
Viktor Shklovsky
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 6, 1984
 49 
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
(Writer Who Specialized in Science Fiction and Historical Novels)
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pugachyov, Russia
Died: February 23, 1945

Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, also known as Comrade Count, initially tasted fame with the novel Nikita’s Childhood and then redefined the science-fiction, thriller, and historical novel genres. As part of the Extraordinary State Commission, he was the first to ascertain that the Nazis had used gas vans during World War II.

 50 
Lyubov Dostoevskaya
(Writer)
Lyubov Dostoevskaya
2
Birthdate: September 14, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: November 10, 1926

Lyubov Dostoevskaya was a Russian memoirist and writer. The daughter of popular Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky and his wife Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina, Lyubov Dostoevskaya is best remembered for her work, Dostoyevsky as Portrayed by His Daughter. Many of her memoirs, which were written in French, were translated into other European languages.