Aksyonov, Vasily (Pavlovich).
Aksyonov, Vasily [Pavlovich]
(1932 - ) Soviet novelist, short - story writer, and playwright. Aksyonov, considered one of the best novelists of his generation writing in Russian, has had a personal and literary career reflecting much of the course of Soviet history over the past forty years. Both his parents spent years in labor camps, victims of Stalin ' s purges; his mother, Evgenia Ginzburg, became famous with her memoirs of life in the camps, Journey into the Whirlwind and Within the Whirlwind. Part of Aksyonov 's childhood was spent with his mother in Siberian exile and is recreated in his most ambitious novel, Ozhog (1975; translated as The Burn, 1984), a book whose larger themes are the author
's growing disillusion with the writer 's fate under a repressive regime and his testimony to the slow destruction of his generation's hopes.
After his graduation from medical school (he practiced for several years before becoming a full - time writer), Aksyonov published his second novel, Zvezdnyi bilet (1961; translated as A Ticket to the Stars, 1963), toward the end of the period of political relaxation known as the thaw. It dealt in highly colloquial style with the relatively taboo subject of the inner yearnings and sexual adventures of Soviet teenagers, and it shocked and thrilled the public, catapulting the author to immediate notoriety. Aksyonov found it increasingly difficult to publish his work as his interest turned to more avant - garde and grotesque satire. After his effort in 1979 to create an anthology free of censorship, Metropol, Aksyonov resigned from the Writers ' Union when two of his fellow editors were expelled and was forced in 1980 to emigrate, eventually settling in the U.S. A collection of stories, The Steel Bird, was published in 1979, and a satirical fantasy, The Island of Crimea, in 1983.