Katayev, Valentin Petrovich

Katayev, Valentin Petrovich vəlyĭntyēn´ pētrô´vĭch kətī´əf [key], 1897–1986, Russian novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. Katayev's novels portray almost the entire range of Soviet life, from the period of the New Economic Policy (The Embezzlers, 1926, tr. 1929) through the first Five-Year Plan (Time, Forward!, 1932, tr. 1933) to World War II (The Wife, 1944, tr. 1946). In Peace Is Where the Tempests Blow (1936, tr. 1937) he described a pleasant childhood in Odessa against the background of the Revolution of 1905. Katayev's comedies became very popular, especially Squaring the Circle (1928, tr. 1934), a farce about Soviet marriage and housing conditions. His later works include The Holy Well (1966, tr. 1967) and a volume of reminiscences, Grass of Oblivion (1967, tr. 1969). His younger brother, Yevgeny, collaborating with Ilya Ilf under the name Yevgeny Petrovich Petrov.

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