Dmitry Bykov

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Dmitry Bykov
Dmitry Bykov in 2013
Dmitry Bykov in 2013
BornDmitry Lvovich Zilbertrud
(1967-12-20) December 20, 1967 (age 52)
OccupationPoet, journalist
Alma materMoscow State University
GenreBelles-lettres, documentary prose

Dmitry Lvovich Bykov (Russian: Дми́трий Льво́вич Бы́ков, IPA: [ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ˈlʲvovʲɪdʑ ˈbɨkəf] (About this soundlisten); born 20 December 1967) is a Russian writer, poet and journalist.[1] He is also known as biographer of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky.


Being one of the most prolific modern Russian writers, in recent years he has gained additional recognition for his biography of Boris Pasternak, published in 2005. The biography earned Bykov the 2006 National Bestseller (Russian: Национальный бестселлер) and Big Book (Russian: Большая Книга) awards. He later wrote biographies of Maxim Gorky and Bulat Okudzhava.

Bykov graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of the Moscow State University. Dmitry Bykov taught literature and the history of Soviet literature in Moscow's secondary schools. He was a professor at the Department of World Literature and Culture of MGIMO. As a journalist and critic, Bykov has been writing for the magazine Ogoniok since 1993.[1] He has also periodically hosted a show on the radio station Echo of Moscow, which ran until 2008.[2] Earlier, he was one of the hosts of an influential TV show Vremechko.

In 2008 a documentary called Virginity (Russian: Девственность) was released in which Bykov was a co-writer.

In 2009, Bykov was named assistant editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Profile.[3] He is also the editor-in-chief of the monthly literature-focused magazine What to read ("Что читать").

Together with actor Mikhail Yefremov, he created project "Citizen Poet" (a pun on Nikolai Nekrasov's poem "Poet and Citizen"). Yefremov reads poems, written by Bykov, which are usually satirical comments on the contemporary Russian society, politics and culture. Each poems parodies the style of a famous poet of the past, e.g. Pushkin, Nekrasov, Kipling, among others. It was originally broadcast on Dozhd TV channel, but the project was closed because the poems were too critical towards Russian government. Currently, the show is hosted in audio format by Echo of Moscow radio station.


Dmitry Bykov

Prose fiction[edit]

  • Justification («Оправдание», 2001)
  • Orthography («Орфография», 2003)
  • In the World of Animals: A Children's Book for Adults, An Adults' Book for Children, with Irina Luk'ianova («В мире животиков. Детская книга для взрослых, взрослая книга для детей», 2005)
  • How Putin Became President of the USA: New Russian Fairy Tales («Как Путин стал президентом США: новые русские сказки», 2005)
  • Truth, with Maksim Chertanov («Правда», 2005)
  • Removal Service («Эвакуатор», 2005)
  • ZhD («ЖД», 2006)
  • ZhD Sort Stories («ЖД-рассказы», 2007)
  • Listed out («Списанные», 2008)
  • Ostromov, or The Magician's Apprentice («Остромов, или Ученик чародея», 2010)
  • Farewell to the Cuckoo («Прощай, кукушка», 2011)
  • Male Carriage («Мужской вагон», 2012)
  • X («Икс», 2012)
  • The Signals, with Valeria Zharova («Сигналы», 2013)
  • The Block: A Walktrough («Квартал: прохождение», 2014)


  • Boris Pasternak («Борис Пастернак», 2005)
  • Was Gorky real? («Был ли Горький?», 2008)
  • Bulat Okudzhava («Булат Окуджава», 2009)

Books of essays[edit]

  • The Debauchery of Work («Блуд труда», 2003)
  • Chronicles of Immediate War («Хроники ближайшей войны», 2005)
  • In Place of Life («Вместо жизни», 2006)
  • In a Void («На пустом месте», 2008)
  • Thinking the World («Думание мира», 2009)
  • And Practically Everybody («И все-все-все», 2009, 2011)
  • The Calendar. Speaking of Essential Things («Календарь. Разговоры о главном», 2010)
  • The Calendar 2. Debating the Undebatable («Календарь-2. Споры о бесспорном», 2012)
  • The Secret Russian Calendar. Most important dates(«Тайный русский календарь. Главные даты», 2012)
  • The Short Course of Soviet Literature («Советская литература. Краткий курс», 2012). later republished as The Advanced Course of Soviet Literature («Советская литература. Расширенный курс»)


  • Declaration of Independence («Декларация независимости», 1992)
  • A Letter to a Young Man («Послание к юноше», 1994)
  • Military Coup («Военный переворот», 1996)
  • Reprieve («Отсрочка», 2000)
  • The Recruit («Призывник», 2003)
  • Chain Letters («Письма счастья», 2006)
  • Last Time («Последнее время», 2007)
  • The Report («Отчет», 2010)
  • New Chain Letters («Новые письма счастья», 2010)
  • Actually («На самом деле», 2011)
  • New and Newest Chain Letters («Новые и новейшие письма счастья», 2012)
  • Bliss («Блаженство», 2014)


  • The Bear («Медведь», 2010)