Iskander, Fazil Abdulovich

Iskander, Fazil Abdulovich,

1929–2016, Russian writer, grad. Moscow Library Institute, 1954. Iskander's novels and stories, mainly set in his native AbkhaziaAbkhazia
or Apsny
, autonomous republic (2011 pop. 240,705), 3,300 sq mi (8,547 sq km), in Georgia, between the Black Sea and the Greater Caucasus. Sukhumi (the capital) and Gagra are the chief cities.
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, are charmingly satirical portraits of village life amid the absurdities of the Soviet regime. He began his literary career in the 1950s as a poet, but he came to public attention in the mid-1960s with his short stories and the novella Sozvezdie kozlotura (1966, tr. Goatibex Constellation, 1975), a humorous treatment of Khrushchev's agricultural schemes and pseudoscientific Soviet genetic theories through the tale of an Abkhazian journalist's involvement in a goat-ibex hybridization experiment. Iskander's major work is the trilogy Sandro iz Chegema. Begun in 1966 and added into the 21st cent., this collection of anecdotes details the title character's adventures in his mountain village and the conflict between Soviet communism and traditional Abkhazian values and customs. It was published in a heavily censored Soviet version (1977), and in a complete edition in the West (1979, tr. Sandro of Chegem, 1983). Iskander also wrote a number of other novels, e.g. Kroliki & udavy (1982, tr. Rabbits and Boa Constrictors, 1989), and published more than 20 short-story collections.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Iskander, Fazil’ Abdulovich


Born Mar. 6, 1929, in Sukhumi. Soviet Russian writer.

Iskander graduated from the Gorky Institute of Literature in 1954. He is the author of the poetry collections Mountain Paths (1957), Green Rain (1960), The Springtime of the Sea (1964), and Dawns of the Earth (1966). Iskander’s poetry is marked by vividness and fresh, graphic imagery. He began writing prose in 1962, publishing the collections of short stories The Thirteenth Labor of Heracles and Forbidden Fruit and the satirical novella Kozlotur’s Constellation (all in 1966). His prose, for the most part autobiographical, is distinguished by its lyricism, humor, subtle psychology, and philosophical character. Iskander wrote the screenplay for A Time of Lucky Finds (1970, with G. S. Gabai).


Derevo detstva: Rasskazy i povest’. Moscow, 1970.


Koval’dzhi, K. “Skvoznye kartinki.” Druzhba narodov, 1966, no. 11.
Chertkov, L. “Zapretnyi plod.” Zvezda, 1966, no. 11. (Review.)
Pitliar, I. “Neveroiatnaia istoriia s Kozloturom.” Sibirskie ogni, 1967, no. 4.
Atarov, N. “Korni talanta.” Novyi mir, 1969, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.