Biography (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
Valentin Rasputin was born on March 15, 1937, in central Siberia, in Ust’-Uda, a small village on the Angara River, halfway between Irkutsk and Bratsk. His parents were peasants. During much of his childhood, most of which fell during and shortly after World War II, his father was away at war. After finishing elementary and high school, Rasputin enrolled at Irkutsk University to be a teacher. Before he was graduated in 1959, he started working as a journalist for the local newspaper and continued to work in that capacity after moving to Krasnoyarsk.
Rasputin published his first story, “Ia zabyl sprosit’ u Lioshki” (“I Forgot to Ask Lyoshka”), in 1961, and his first novella, Krai vozle samogo neba (the land next to the very sky), in 1966. Between those two years, he traveled as a newspaper correspondent, covering a wide area and meeting many interesting people. These experiences served him well as sources for his stories. In 1968, he published another book as well as his first longer story, Money for Maria, venturing into the novella—a genre that would become his main mode of expression. The same year he was admitted to the Union of Soviet Writers, usually a sign that a writer “has arrived.” Three more novellas followed in the next ten yearsBorrowed Time, Live and Remember, and Farewell to Matyora—along with a number of short stories. In 1977, he received the State Prize for Literature in recognition...
(The entire section is 379 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!