Vera Panova

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Panova, Vera Fedorovna


Born Mar. 7 (20), 1905, in Rostov-on-Don; died Mar. 3, 1973, in Leningrad. Soviet Russian writer.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Panova worked for newspapers and journals in Rostov-on-Don and wrote her first plays. Beginning in 1940 she lived in Leningrad, and during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 she worked in Perm’. She first became widely known with her novella Traveling Companions (1946; State Prize of the USSR, 1947; film title The Hospital Train, 1964), one of the best Soviet works on the war. Her best-known works written after the war are the novels Kruzhilikha (1947; State Prize of the USSR, 1948), The Four Seasons (1953; film title Leap Year, 1962), and A Sentimental Novel (1958) and the novellas Bright Shore (1949; State Prize of the USSR, 1950) and Serezha (1955; film of the same name, 1960; awarded the Crystal Ball first prize at the Twelfth International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary, 1960). Such short stories as “Valia” and “Volodia” (1960; film title The Beginning, 1962), “Three Boys at the Gate,” “Sisters,” and “Synopsis of a Novel” deal with the upbringing of the young. Panova’s works, truthful and with keen insight into today’s world, succeed in conveying the drama of everyday conflicts. At the same time, they reveal the poetry inherent in what seems ordinary and display unceasing concern with social morality.

In the 1960’s, Panova began writing historical works. Her novella Who Is Dying (1965) describes the end of the reign of Vasilii III. Panova drew on historical chronicles for the plots of her novellas The Legend of Ol’ga, The Legend of Feodosiia, and Feodorets, the Little White Cowl (all 1966). Her historical novellas and her drama Tred’iakovskii and Volynskii (1968) display a sensitivity for the style of the epoch and an expressiveness in the speech of the characters.

Panova also wrote many works for the stage and for films. Among her plays that have been staged are The Snowstorm (1956), Seeing Off the White Nights (1961), How Are You, Lad? (1962), and It’s Ages Since We Met! (1966). She wrote the scenarios for the films Evdokiia (1961), Early in the Morning, Sasha, and Workers’ Settlement (all 1966). Panova’s chief works have been translated into many languages. She was awarded two orders.


Sobr. soch, vols. 1–5. Leningrad, 1969–70.
Zametki literatora. Leningrad, 1972.
“Iz povesti moei zhizni.” Neva, 1973, nos. 4–5.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1972.


Plotkin, L. Tvorchestvo Very PanovoL Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
Boguslavskaia, Z. Vera Panova: Ocherk tvorchestvo. Moscow, 1963.
Ninov, A. Vera Panova: Ocherk tvorchestvo. Leningrad, 1964.
Gornitskaia, N. S. Kinodramaturgiia V. F. PanovoL Leningrad, 1970.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 3. Leningrad, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Screenplay, Vera Panova. Camera (B&W), Genrikh Maradzhyan; music, Isaak Svats; assistant director, Aleksei German.
Helmer Vladimir Vengerov and screenwriter Vera Panova turn this unpromising premise into a thoroughly engrossing epic drama, beautifully shot and acted.
Vera Panova (1905-73), one of the most beloved Soviet writers, was admired for the straightforward honesty and simplicity of her characterizations.