Voinovich, Vladimir Nikolayevich

Voinovich, Vladimir Nikolayevich,

1932–2018, Russian satirist and political dissident. His father was dissident journalist who was jailed for his activities. Voinovich served in the army (1951–55), studied at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute (1957–59), and worked as a radio editor before he began publishing fiction. He gained attention for such short stories as "We Live Here" (1961) and the novella Two Comrades (1964), satirical works about conformity in the USSR. He incurred the ire of Soviet officials with his best-known novel, The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (1969–75, tr. 1977). A satirical tale of a seemingly simple-minded soldier who outsmarts the Soviet bureaucracy, it was banned but circulated underground and was published in Europe; it forms a trilogy with Pretender to the Throne (1979, tr. 1981) and A Displaced Person (2007, tr. 2012). The Ivankiad: The Tale of the Writer Voinovich's Installation in His New Apartment (1976, tr. 1977) recounts his bureaucratic struggle to get an apartment in a writer's housing cooperative. Harassed by the government for his writings and activism, he was stripped of his citizenship and exiled (1980); he settled in Munich and taught in Europe and the United States. In 1990, President Gorbachev restored his citizenship and Voinovich returned to Russia. Voinovich is also particularly known for the dystopian novel Moscow 2042 (1986), about an exiled writer who takes a flight that lands 60 years in the future, and he later was critic of Vladimir Putin's policies.