Sergei Dovlatov

(1989 words)
  • David Gillespie (University of Bath)

Sergei Dovlatov is unusual among the “third wave” of the Russian émigrés in that his writing career really began only after leaving the Soviet Union. He is therefore very different from other émigrés, such as Vasilii Aksenov, Vladimir Voinovich and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who had established their reputations in the Soviet Union. Dovlatov had, admittedly, published some short stories in Soviet journals in the early 1970s, but it was while living in the United States from 1979 onwards that his talent as a comic writer and sharp observer of human vulnerability developed and matured. That is not to say, however, that he began writing in emigration; most of what he published in the early 1980s had been written in …

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Gillespie, David. "Sergei Dovlatov". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 October 2003; last revised 22 June 2006.
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