Yury Iosifovich Koval
|Yury Iosifovich Koval|
February 9, 1938|
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Died||August 2, 1995
|Occupation||Writer, screenwriter, poet, artist|
Yury Koval was born in Moscow in 1938. Both of his parents came from peasant families. His Ukrainian father Iosif Yakovlevich Koval was a criminal investigator, while his mother Olga Dmitrievna Kolybina was a psychiatrist of Russian origin. In 1955 Yuri 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.
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.
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. Koval's books were translated to all major European languages, as well as to Chinese and Japanese.
In addition to his writing and screenwriting work, Yuri was also a professional sculptor, artist, icon painter, enameller and woodcarver. He mastered a wide range of techniques, mostly traditional national Russian styles. He also wrote songs and played guitar.
Koval died in 1995 at the age of 57 after a serious heart attack. He was buried in the family tomb at the Lianozovskoe Cemetery. He was survived by his second wife Natalia Alexandrovna Koval (nee Degtyar), his children (Yulia from the first marriage and Alexei from the second marriage) and his elder brother Boris. Koval belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church.
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:
- Алый (Aly, titled after the proper name of a dog, 1968), about a border guard dog;
- Приключения Васи Куролесова (The Adventures of Vasya Kurolesov, 1971), a humorous detective story;
- Недопёсок (Young Polar Fox, 1975), about the adventures of an Arctic fox;
- Пять похищенных монахов (Five Abducted Monks, 1977), a humorous detective story;
- От Красных Ворот (Starting from Red Gate, titled after a Moscow toponym, 1984);
- Самая лёгкая лодка в мире (The Lightest Boat in the World, 1984), the first Koval's major work addressed to adult audience;
- Полынные сказки (Wormwood Tales, 1987);
- Промах гражданина Лошакова (Citizen Loshakov's Failure, 1990), a humorous detective story;
- Шамайка (Shamayka, titled after the name of a cat, 1990), about a stray cat (adaptation of Ernest Thompson Seton's story, The Slum Cat);
- Суер-Выер (Suyer-Vyyer, 1998), a fantastic novel about a sea voyage of Captain Suyer-Vyyer striving to find the Island of Verity.
- Yuri Koval. A Pig in a Poke. London: Abelard-Schuman, 1975. — Illustrated by Janosch. ISBN 0200723324 (Translation of Priklyucheniya Vasi Kurolesova, 1971)
- Yuri Koval. A purple bird / Translated by Fainna Solasko. Moscow: Raduga, 1983. 2nd printing, 1989. — Illustrated by Nikolay Ustinov. (Translation of 14 stories from the collection Pozdnim vecherom ranney vesnoy, 1988)
Cinema and animation
Some of Koval's works were made into feature films:
- Border dog Alyi (1979)
- Nedopesok Napoleon III (1979) (based on Nedopesok)
- Pyat pokhishchennykh monakhov (1991) (based on the eponymous novel)
- Yavlenie prirody (2010) (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)
- Tigryonok na podsolnukhe (1981)
- Welcome (1986)
- Sunduk (1986)
- Laughter and Grief by the White Sea (1988)
- Yevstifeyka-volk (2001)
- Polynnaya skazka v tri blina dlinoy (2003)
- Pro barana i kozla (2004)
- 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):
- Коваль Юрий Иосифович (in Russian). Аниматор.ру. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Yuri Koval Island – Official Website (in Russian)
- Биография (in Russian). Литературный клуб. Серия великие российские и зарубежные писател. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Странник-96 (in Russian). Оргкомитет конгресса "Странник". Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "Yuri Koval". Guarant-InfoCentre. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Yuri Koval. Monologue documentary, January 20, 1991
- Yuri Koval: Art, Sculpture, Enamel by Tatiana Bek in Znamya, 2003, № 8. (in Russian)
- Moscow Tombs
- Nedopesok Napoleon III on IMDb
- Pyat pokhishchennykh monakhov on IMDb
- Yavlenie prirody on IMDb
- Priklyucheniya Vasi Kurolesova on IMDb
- Tigryonok na podsolnukhe on IMDb
- Pro barana i kozla on IMDb
- Ulitsa Nyutona, dom 1 on IMDb
- Marka strany Gondelupy on IMDb