Born Mar. 12, 1909, in the village of Klangiai, in what is now Jurbarkas Raion, Lithuanian SSR; died May 2, 1947, in Vilnius. Soviet Lithuanian writer. Member of the CPSU from 1940.
The son of a peasant, Cvirka studied at the Kaunas Art School from 1926 to 1930. In 1940 he was a deputy to the People’s Seimas. Cvirka was a convinced antifascist.
Cvirka was first published in 1924. His satirical novel Frank Kruk (vols. 1–2, 1934) portrays a Lithuanian who has made his fortune in America. Cvirka’s The Beautiful Land (1935; Russian translation, 1937) is a social novel based on the life of the Lithuanian peasantry. The novel Master and Sons (1936), which takes place during the Revolution of 1905–07, contains a strong element of folklore. The work resonates with robust folk humor and provides vivid portrayals of village craftsmen.
Cvirka also produced collections of short stories, such as Everyday Stories (1938), Oak Roots (1945), and Seeds of Brotherhood (1947). His other works include, in addition to the folktales collected under the title Tales from the Neman Region (published 1948; Russian translation, 1951), literary sketches, humorous stories, pamphlets, stories for children, and articles about literature.
Cvirka’s work has had a marked influence on the development of Lithuanian prose. His books have been translated into various foreign languages and into many of the languages of the peoples of the USSR.
WORKSRaštai, vols. 1–13. Vilnius, 1949–57.
Raštai, vols. 1–8. Vilnius, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–3. Introductory article by M. Slutskis, 1949–57.
Izbr. proizv. [Foreword by Iu. Baltushsis.] Moscow, 1948.
REFERENCESGalinis, V. Vydaiushchiisia sovetskii litovskii pisatel’ Petras Tsvirka. Moscow, 1961.
Judelevičius, D. Petras Cvirka satyrikas. Vilnius, 1958.
Atsiminimai apie Petrą Cvirką. Vilnius, 1969.