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Vasily Semenovich Grossman

Grossman, Vasily Semenovich, 1905–64, Soviet Russian novelist and journalist, b. Berdichev (now Berdychiv, Ukraine). He graduated (1929) from Moscow State Univ., published novels and short stories, and became a noted Soviet war correspondent during World War II. Although he began objecting to Stalin's support of anti-Semitism during the 1940s, he remained a fixture of the Soviet literary establishment until the early 1950s. His novel of the siege of Stalingrad, For a Just Cause (1954), was widely critized by Soviet authorities for the Jewish portion of its content. Its sequel, the vivid and sweeping masterpiece Life and Fate, was completed in 1960. Depicting the effects of war and dictatorship, fascism and communism, and Hitler and Stalin on a wide range of characters, it reveals many of the horrors of the Soviet system. Considered subversive, the manuscript was confiscated by the KGB. Later smuggled to the West on microfilm, the book was not published until well after Grossman's death–in Switzerland (1980), the United States (1986), and the USSR (1988). Grossman's last novel, Forever Flowing, (also titled Everything Flows ) written in 1961, also indicts the Soviet regime; it appeared abroad in 1970, but was not published in the USSR until 1989. A collection of his stories, essays, journalism, and letters was published as The Road (2010).

See his A Writer at War (2006); biography by J. and C. Garrard (1996); study by F. Ellis (1994).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Russian and Eastern European Literature: Biographies


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