Shamiakin, Ivan Petrovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shamiakin, Ivan Petrovich


Born Jan. 30, 1921, in the village of Korma, Dobrush Raion, Gomel’ Oblast. Soviet Byelorussian writer and state figure. People’s Writer of the Byelorussian SSR (1972). Member of the CPSU since 1943.

The son of a peasant, Shamiakin took part in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. He graduated from the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia in 1950, and in 1971 he became chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR.

Shamiakin’s first work appeared in print in 1941. The themes of military duty and of heroic deeds at the front and rear were long characteristic of his works. For example, the novel Deep Current (1949; State Prize of the USSR, 1951) deals with the selfless battle of Byelorussian partisans against the fascist German aggressors. Postwar life in the village is depicted in his novels Good Luck! (1953; Russian translation, 1955) and The Wells (1957; Russian translation, 1959); the second novel exposes in telling fashion bureaucratic red tape and apathy. Between 1956 and 1966, Shamiakin published a series of five topical novellas that constitute the book Troublous Happiness (1966; Ia. Kolas State Prize of the Byelorussian SSR, 1967); this work is a lyric and epic narrative about love, fidelity, and the inner beauty of the Soviet man.

One of Shamiakin’s best novels, Heart on Your Sleeve (1964; la. Kolas State Prize of the Byelorussian SSR, 1965), treats of moral and ethical problems; although a story about present-day events, it includes some scenes of wartime life. The novel Snowy Winters (1970) is constructed on the same compositional principle. Lenin appears in the novellas Bread (1969), The First General (1970), and The “Comrade Lenin” Armored Train (1970), as well as the short story “The Sailor From the Oleg” (1970). The life and work of the Soviet intelligentsia are the subject of the novel Atlanta and the Caryatids (1974; Russian translation, 1974). Shamiakin has also written children’s stories. He is the author of the plays Don’t Trust the Silence (1958), The Banishment of the Lascivious Women (1961), and And the Birds Fell Silent (1977) and of the book of essays of literary criticism entitled A Conversation With the Reader (1973). Shamiakin makes use of timely themes and dynamic plots. Many of his works have been translated into languages of the USSR and other countries of the socialist community.

Shamiakin was a deputy to the sixth through ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR; he is a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia. He became the deputy chairman of the administrative board of the Writers’ Union of the Byelorussian SSR in 1954 and the board’s secretary in 1976. Shamiakin has been awarded five orders and various medals.


Zbor tvorau, vols. 1–5. Minsk, 1965–66.
Viacherni seans. Minsk, 1968.
Lios maiho zamliaka. Minsk, 1970.
Bats’ki i dzetsi. Minsk, 1971.
Razmova z chytachom. Minsk, 1973.
In Russian translation:
V Moskvu. Moscow-Leningrad, 1952.
Rasskazy. Leningrad, 1953.
Listopad. Moscow, 1964.
Serdtse na ladoni. Snezhnye zimy. Moscow, 1971.
Pervyi general. Moscow, 1971.
Otbleski. Moscow, 1974.
Torgovka i poet. Moscow, 1977.
Izbr. proizv., vols. 1–2. [Leningrad, 1977.]


Shkraba, R. Sila slova. Minsk, 1958.
Adamovich, A. Belaruski raman. Minsk, 1961.
Kavalenka, V. Daver. Minsk, 1967.
Hardzitski, A. Dyialohi. Minsk, 1968.
Pashkevich, N. Na epicheskom napravlenii. Moscow, 1969.
Kuleshov, F. Sovremennaia belorusskaia proza. Moscow, 1970.
Buhaiou, D. Shmathrannasts’. Minsk, 1970.
Iaskevich, A. Usvetse mastatskaha tvora. Minsk, 1977.


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