Anatoli Rybakov 1911?–
Rybakov was a minor figure in Soviet literature until the surprising publication of his recent novel Heavy Sand in the literary magazine Oktyabr. The novel is an epic tale of two Russian-Jewish families before and during the Second World War. Some critics believe Heavy Sand to be an implicit condemnation of Russian actions toward its Jewish population during the Holocaust, a topic hitherto suppressed. Other experts, however, see it as clever propaganda designed to show a softening of the Soviet Union's present restrictive policies toward its Jewish population.