Yury Iosifovich Koval

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For other people named Koval, see Koval.

Yury Iosifovich Koval (Russian: Юрий Иосифович Коваль, February 9, 1938, Moscow - August 2, 1995, Moscow) was a Russian author, artist, and screenplay writer.[1]


Yury Koval was born in Moscow in 1938. His father was a criminal investigator, and his mother was a psychiatrist. In 1955, he begun his studies at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, and in 1960, he graduated and started working as a drawing teacher in the countryside in the Republic of Tatarstan. After a year, he returned to Moscow, working first as a schoolteacher and subsequently as an editor in the Detskaya Literatura magazine. In 1966, he became a freelance journalist and writer.[2]

Koval published sporadically since he was a student, and in 1967 and 1969 he published two books of verses for children, however, he was first noticed in 1968, when he published Aly, a short story of a dog. He subsequently decided to change topic frequently. He spent considerable periods of time in the north of European Russia, in particular, in Vologda Oblast. In Arkhangelsk, Yury Koval met Boris Shergin, a Russian Pomor writer, and became interested in Russian folklore. Later, he invested a lot of time promoting literary works of Shergin and Stepan Pisakhov, and even wrote a screenplay for animated films The Magic Ring (Russian: Волшебное кольцо) and Laughter and Grief by the White Sea, based on Shergin's fairy tales.[2]

In the 1970s, Koval wrote several short stories and novels for children. The Little Silver Fox (1975) shows the story of an Arctic fox who escaped from a fur farm and wanted to get to the North Pole. In 1984, he published The lightest boat in the world, and Suyer-Vyyer was published in 1996 posthumously. For Suyer-Vyyer, Koval received the Strannik Award, which is given for science fiction books.[3] Koval's books were translated to all major European languages, as well as to Chinese and Japanese.[2][4]

Literary works[edit]

Koval is the author of several novels, novellas and collections of short stories and fairy-tales, both for children and adults. He has also written poems and songs. His major works in prose include:

  • Aly (1968), about a border guard dog
  • Priklyucheniya Vasi Kurolesova (1971), a humorous detective story
  • Nedopesok (1975), about the adventures of an Arctic fox
  • Pyat pokhishchennykh monakhov (1977), a humorous detective story
  • Ot Krasnyx Vorot (1984)
  • Samaya lyogkaya lodka v mire (1984)
  • Polynnye skazki (1987)
  • Promakh grazhdanina Loshakova (1990), a humorous detective story
  • Shamayka (1990), about a stray cat (based on Ernest Thompson Seton story)
  • Suyer-Vyyer (1998), a fantastic novel about a sea voyage of Captain Suyer-Vyyer striving to find the Island of Verity

He translated into Russian various children’s writers and poets, including Rainis, Imants Ziedonis, Eduardas Mieželaitis, Spiridon Vangheli, Akhmedkhan Abu-Bakar, Michio Mado, Yoko Sano, etc.

English editions[edit]

  • Yuri Koval. A Pig in a Poke. London: Abelard-Schuman, 1975. — Illustrated by Janosch.[5] ISBN 0200723324 (Translation of Priklyucheniya Vasi Kurolesova, 1971)
  • Yuri Koval. A purple bird / Translated by Fainna Solasko. Moscow: Raduga, 1983.[6] 2nd printing, 1989.[7] — Illustrated by Nikolay Ustinov. (Translation of 14 stories from the collection Pozdnim vecherom ranney vesnoy, 1988)

Cinema and animation[edit]

Some of Koval's works were made into feature films:

  • Nedopesok Napoleon III (1979)[8] (based on Nedopesok)
  • Pyat pokhishchennykh monakhov (1991)[9] (based on the eponymous novel)
  • Yavlenie prirody (2010)[10] (based on various short stories)

He wrote the screenplays for several short animation films, and many animation films are based on his works, including:

  • Priklyucheniya Vasi Kurolesova (1981)[11]
  • Tigryonok na podsolnukhe (1981)[12]
  • Sunduk (1986)
  • Yevstifeyka-volk (2001)
  • Polynnaya skazka v tri blina dlinoy (2003)
  • Pro barana i kozla (2004)[13]
  • Pro kozla i baraba (2005)
  • Glupaya... (2008)
  • Krugly god (2010)
  • Shatalo (2010)

Koval also appeared in small supporting roles in two movies (in both cases he sings his songs playing a guitar):

  • Ulitsa Nyutona, dom 1 (1963)[14]
  • Marka strany Gondelupy (1978)[15]


  1. ^ Коваль Юрий Иосифович (in Russian). Аниматор.ру. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Биография (in Russian). Литературный клуб. Серия великие российские и зарубежные писател. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Странник-96 (in Russian). Оргкомитет конгресса "Странник". Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Yuri Koval". Guarant-InfoCentre. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.worldcat.org/title/pig-in-a-poke/oclc/014755022
  6. ^ http://www.worldcat.org/title/purple-bird/oclc/11110494
  7. ^ http://www.worldcat.org/title/purple-bird/oclc/261615288
  8. ^ Nedopesok Napoleon III at the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ Pyat pokhishchennykh monakhov at the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ Yavlenie prirody at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ Priklyucheniya Vasi Kurolesova at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ Tigryonok na podsolnukhe at the Internet Movie Database
  13. ^ Pro barana i kozla at the Internet Movie Database
  14. ^ Ulitsa Nyutona, dom 1 at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ Marka strany Gondelupy at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]