Boris Vasilyev (writer)

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Boris Vasilyev
Boris Vasilyev.jpg
Native name Борис Васильев
Born (1924-05-21)21 May 1924
Smolensk, Soviet Union
Died 11 March 2013(2013-03-11) (aged 88)[1]
Moscow, Russia
Occupation Writer
Years active 1958–2013
Spouse(s) Zorya Albertovna Vasilyeva

Boris Lvovich Vasilyev (Russian: Борис Львович Васильев; 21 May 1924 – 11 March 2013) was a Soviet writer. He is considered the last representative of the so-called "lieutenant prose", a group of former low-ranking Soviet officers who dramatised their traumatic World War II experience.[2]

After his World War II service, Vasiliev enrolled at the Malinovsky Tank Academy. His short novel The Dawns Here Are Quiet was a Soviet bestseller, selling 1.8 million copies within a year after its publication in 1969. It was adapted for the stage and the screen; there is also an opera and a Chinese TV series based on the story.

The Dawns Here Are Quiet was the first of Vasiliev's sentimental patriotic tales of female heroism in the Second World War[3] ("Not on the Active List", 1974; "Tomorrow There Came War", 1984) which brought him renown in the Soviet Union, China, and other communist countries.[4] Many of his books give a harsh picture of life in Stalin's Russia.

Vasiliev's short novel Don't Shoot the White Swans (1973), a milestone of Russian-language environmental fiction, is sharply critical of "the senseless destruction of beautiful creatures and the exploitation of nature for personal gain".[5] It was made into a 1980 Soviet film.

Vasiliev was awarded the USSR State Prize for 1975 and was a member of the jury at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival.[6] In 1989, he quit the USSR Communist Party but grew disillusioned with the Perestroika rather quickly.[7] In October 1993, he signed the Letter of Forty-Two.[8] Late in life, Vasiliev turned to historical fiction based on incidents from medieval Russian chronicles.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Russia’s Soviet-era war novelist Boris Vasilyev dies aged 88: Voice of Russia". :. 1924-05-21. Retrieved 2013-03-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Martin Banham. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 1995. P. 656.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Rosalind J. Marsh. Soviet Fiction Since Stalin: Science, Politics, and Literature. Taylor & Francis, 1986. Page 182.
  6. ^ "Berlinale: 1989 Juries". Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Писатели требуют от правительства решительных действий". Izvestia. 5 October 1993. Retrieved 21 August 2011.  (Russian)

External links[edit]