Andrei Golovko

Golovko, Andrei Vasil’evich


Born Nov. 22 (Dec. 4), 1897. in the village of Iurki, present-day Kozel’shchina Raion. Poltava Oblast. Soviet Ukrainian writer.

Golovko was born into a peasant family. He studied in a Realschule in Kremenchug but was expelled in 1914 for belonging to an illegal circle. He took part in World War I, the Civil War, and the Great Patriotic War. He was a teacher. In 1920 he enlisted as a volunteer in the First Cavalry Army.

Golovko’s early poems, published in the collection Semiprecious Stones (1919), were imitative. The collection Girl of the Road (1923) describes the fate of children in the postwar famine years. The novellas and stories in I Can (1926), one of the best collections in Soviet Ukrainian prose, enjoyed great popularity. His novel Tall Weeds (1927; Russian translation, 1928) depicts the struggle of the rural poor for the strengthening of Soviet power in the Ukraine. The hero of the novel, David Motuzka, is one of the most important Communist characters in the Ukrainian prose of that period. The novel Mother (1931; revised edition. 1935), the first book of a trilogy on the Ukrainian peasantry of the early 20th century, portrays the ripening of the Revolution of 1905–07 in the countryside, the formation of the character of a revolutionary, and the leading role of the Bolsheviks. The second book, Artetn Garmash (parts 1–2; 1951–60), portrays life in a village and in a small Ukrainian town in 1918. The stories and sketches that Golovko wrote during the Great Patriotic War (the collections Friendship and Battle Episodes, both 1942) are devoted to the military exploits of the Soviet people. Golovko’s prose is characterized by a profound understanding of social processes and of the psychology of his heroes, by lyricism, and by a rich linguistic palette. Golovko has also written a number of plays, including In a Red Foam (1924) and Apple of Paradise (1946), as well as film scripts. He received the Shevchenko Prize in 1969. Golovko has been awarded the Order of Lenin, three other orders, and various medals.


Tvory, vols. 1–4. Kiev, 1967–68.
In Russian translation:
Mat’. Moscow, 1965.
Artem Garmash. Bur’ian. Moscow, 1965.


Istoriia ukrainskoi sovetskoi literatury. Kiev, 1965.
Kilimnik, O. Andrei Golovko. Moscow, 1956.
Kovalenko, L. Andrii Holovko. Kiev, 1958.
Shnaider. B. Andrii Holovko, 2nd ed. Kiev. 1961.
Pasichnyk, M., and K. Frolova. Andrii Holovko. Kiev, 1967.