Iurii Olesha was born March 3, 1899 in Elizavetgrad, Russia (today Kirovograd, Ukraine). Olesha's father, who was from the landowning class, worked as an excise officer at a vodka distillery. The family moved to the port city of Odessa in 1902. Olesha attended the University of Novorossiya from 1916 to 1918. During the Russian revolution and subsequent civil war, he did a brief tour of duty in an artillery battery near Odessa. The city was then a hotbed of literary activity, which the young man more readily embraced. Olesha was an active participant in “The Green Lamp” [Zelenaia lampa], a young poets' club heavily influenced by the works of Pushkin. Living in Odessa meant that Olesha emerged as a …
Rowley, Alison. "Iurii Olesha". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 February 2009; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12094, accessed 28 April 2015.]