Chakovskii, Aleksandr

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chakovskii, Aleksandr Borisovich


Born Aug. 13 (26), 1913, in St. Petersburg. Soviet Russian writer and public figure. Hero of Socialist Labor (1973). Member of the CPSU since 1941. Candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU since 1971.

Chakovskii, the son of a physician, graduated from the M. Gorky Institute of Literature in 1938. His first published writings—works of criticism—appeared in 1937. His first work of fiction was a trilogy devoted to the heroism of Leningrad in the Great Patriotic War: It Happened in Leningrad (1944), Lida (1945), and Peaceful Days (1947). Chakovskii further developed the distinctive style of this trilogy, at once lyrical and publicistic, in the novel It Is Already Morning Here (1949; State Prize of the USSR, 1950), which successfully evokes the spirit of socialist transformation in South Sakhalin in the postwar years.

Chakovskii dealt with the moral and ethical problems of Soviet society and the lives of young intellectuals who work in technical fields in the novels A Year of Life (1956) and The Roads We Choose (1960). Chakovskii is also the author of the novellas The Light of a Distant Star (1962) and The Bride (1966).

Chakovskii’s major work is the novel Blockade (books 1–5, 1968–75; Lenin Prize, 1978). Portraying a panorama of the battle of Leningrad, the book interprets the historical significance of the battle within the context of the entire war and depicts the moral and political superiority of the Soviet soldiers over the enemy. Chakovskii has also written publicist works, for example, Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit? (1970).

Chakovskii was editor in chief of the journal Inostrannaia Literatura (Foreign Literature) from 1955 to 1963 and has been editor in chief of Literaturnaia Gazeta since 1962. He has been secretary of the administrative board of the Writers’ Union of the USSR since 1962 and was a deputy to the seventh through ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, two other orders, and several medals.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–6. Moscow, 1974–77.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.