Troyat, Henri

Troyat, Henri

(ŏ–rē` trôtä`), 1911–2007, French novelist and biographer, b. Moscow as Lev Aslanovich Tarassov. He and his family fled the Russian Revolution and settled (1911) in Paris. He was the author of numerous historical novels (including the cycle Tant que la terre durera [while the earth endures], 1946–48) and biographies of famous Russians, including Tolstoy (1965, tr. 1967), and Ivan the Terrible (1982, tr. 1986). One of France's most popular and prolific authors, Troyat, who wrote a total of 105 books, is especially noted for the lucidity of his prose. He was elected to the Académie Française in 1959.


See his autobiographical novel, Aliocha (1991); study by N. Hewitt (1984).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Troyat, Henri


(real name Lev Tarasov). Born Nov. 1, 1911, in Moscow. French writer. Member of the Académie Française since 1959.

Troyat was educated in the law and has lived in France since 1918. His first novels were False Light (1935) and The Spider (1938); the latter won him the Goncourt Prize. Troyat is the author of several literary biographies, including Firebrand: The Life of Dostoyevsky (1940), Pushkin (1946), and Tolstoy (1965). He wrote several cycles of historical novels recalling the revolutionary and patriotic traditions of the Russian people. In The Seed and the Fruit (5 vols., 1953–58) and the trilogy The Eygletières (1965–67; Russian translation, 1969), Troyat analyzed the contemporary French bourgeoisie and portrayed the breakdown of the family and the tragedy of young people in a consumer society. He is also known as a writer of novellas, which have appeared in the collections Common Grave (1939) and Eve’s Gesture (1964). Troyat’s plays include The Living (1946) and Sébastien (1949).


Gogol. Paris [1971].
Le Carnet vert et autres nouvelles. Moscow, 1974.
In Russian translation:
“Sneg v traure.” Moskva, 1965, no. 9.
“Anna Predail’.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1975, no. 8.


Gannes, G. “Henri Troyat.” In his book Messieurs les best-sellers. Paris [1966].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.