10 famous authors worth reading in Russian

The works of Russian authors are known and appreciated all over the world. The first to come to mind, of course, is Alexander Pushkin, the founder of the Russian literary language. However, there are other authors who deserve your attention. We offer you a list of 10 famous authors who are worth reading in Russian.

It is unrealistic to cover all Russian literature in one article, so we will focus on classic authors who wrote in the XIX – early XX century and who created many interesting and memorable literary works.

Alexander Pushkin

Pushkin was one of the major authors in the Golden Age of Russian poetry. The genre of romantic poetry and novels are associated with him. His first poem was published when he was still a teenager, and soon he became famous throughout Russia. Pushkin died at the age of 37 as a result of a wound in a duel. During his life, he managed to write more than 800 works: poems, poems, stories, fairy tales, novels and novels.

What to read?

  • fairy tales – “The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish”;
  • poems – “Ruslan and Lyudmila”;
  • dramatic works – “Boris Godunov”;
  • prose – “Queen of Spades”;
  • the novel in verse “Eugene Onegin”.

Mikhail Lermontov

Romantic writer, poet and artist Mikhail Lermontov was the greatest literary figure of his time and became the founder of the Russian psychological novel. “A Hero of Our Time” is one of the central works of his oeuvre. Lermontov died when he was not yet 30, but before that he managed to write about 400 works of poetry, several dozen poems and a number of works in prose.

What to read?

  • poems – “Borodino”, “Death of a Poet”;
  • poems – “Mtsyri”, “The Prisoner of the Caucasus”;
  • the novel “A Hero of Our Time”.

Ivan Goncharov

Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov entered the history of Russian and world literature as a master of realistic prose. His novels reflect important aspects of life in Russian society in the 1840s-60s, with a striking penetration into the psychology of the characters. The novel “Oblomov” was a raving success, making the author one of the most outstanding Russian writers. The fate of the protagonist is revealed not only as a social phenomenon, but also as a philosophical understanding of the Russian national character, a special moral path, opposing the vanity of all-consuming “progress”.

What to read?

  • “Ordinary History”;
  • “Oblomov”;
  • “The Precipice”.

Mikhail Bulgakov

Bulgakov was a writer, physician, and playwright of the early 20th century. He was recognized as the most controversial writer of his time and was known for his satires on society in the Soviet Union. Although he received a medical degree, his love for literature proved stronger. Bulgakov’s most famous novel, The Master and Margarita, is still considered one of Russia’s best novels of the 20th century, exposing the corruption and hypocrisy of the Soviet cultural elite.

What to read?

  • novels – “The Master and Margarita”, “The White Guard”;
  • novels – “The Dog’s Heart”, “The Fatal Eggs”;
  • a collection of short stories “Notes of a Young Doctor”.

Ivan Turgenev

It was Turgenev’s work that made Russian literature popular in the West. He was particularly adept at conveying everyday life in Russia, including the lives of the Russian peasantry and scholars, in his works. Turgenev spent many years in Europe because of his liberal political stance, which was not welcomed by the authorities at the time. Most of his works are about early love, unfulfilled dreams, as well as nostalgia for the past and concern for the future of the country.

What to read?

  • “Fathers and Children”;
  • “Rudin”;
  • “On the Eve”;
  • “Notes of a hunter”;
  • “Asya.”

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Nikolai Gogol

The famous Russian writer and playwright Nikolai Gogol was greatly influenced by Ukrainian culture, which is reflected in many of his works. Most of his works are known for their literary realism and satire. Gogol’s works wonderfully intertwine his whimsical imagination and national flavor, including the Ukrainian language and many cultural references.

What to read?

  • novels – “The Nose”, “Portrait”, “Notes of a Madman”;
  • the short story collection “Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka”;
  • the comedy “The Inspector”;

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The works of journalist, philosopher and writer Dostoevsky are known for their deep insight into the darkest sides of the human soul. In his works, the author explores human psychology, which examines behavior and reason, and covers all aspects of conscious and unconscious experience. His books have been translated into more than 170 languages.

What to read?

  • “Crime and Punishment”;
  • “The Idiot”;
  • “The Brothers Karamazov”;
  • “The Imp”;
  • “Poor People”

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy is rightly considered one of the greatest writers in the world. His novels deal with important themes of religion and morality, and describe in detail Russian society and culture. Thanks to his work, Tolstoy was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, however, he was never eventually awarded it, which does not prevent readers from all over the world from appreciating his novels. In addition, 35 of his works have been made into movies.

What to read?

  • The epic novel “War and Peace”;
  • “The Prisoner of the Caucasus”;
  • the novel “Anna Karenina”;
  • the novel “Resurrection”;
  • the trilogy “Childhood. Adolescence. Youth.”

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov was an outstanding Russian playwright and master of the modern short story. Many critics and readers believe that Chekhov’s best plays and short stories are characterized by simplicity and devoid of intrusive literary devices. Chekhov’s various works have been screened about 200 times, and he is one of the five most screened authors in the world.

What to read?

  • novels – “Kashtanka”, “Ward No. 6”;
  • short stories – “Thick and Thin”, “The Chameleon”, “The Horse’s Surname”, “Man in a Case”;
  • plays – “Three Sisters”, “The Cherry Orchard”, “Uncle Vanya”.

Ivan Bunin

Bunin was the first Russian writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The distinctive feature of his works is the combination of realism and classical traditions. Bunin began his literary career as a poet and only a few years later began to write stories and novels that made him famous in exile.

What to read?

  • A collection of short stories, “Dark Alleys”;
  • the short stories “Mr. from San Francisco”, “Antonov’s Apples”;
  • a collection of poems “Leaffall”;
  • novels – “The Village”, “Mina’s Love”;
  • the novel “The Life of Arsenyev”.

To appreciate the contribution of Russian authors to world culture, be sure to read a few books by famous Russian writers and poets. And so that you can feel the full value of these works, come to learn Russian at the Lider School of Russian as a Foreign Language.

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