Other Literary Forms
Although Vassily Aksyonov wrote five plays, he was actually more widely known for his prose works, in particular his novels. These range from the historical realism of Voina i tiurma (1993; Generations of Winter, 1994), a harsh look at the effects of Stalinism on a physician, to the satirical alternate history of Ostrov Krym (1981; The Island of Crimea, 1983), which features a Crimean peninsula with its narrow land bridge broken, freed to explore capitalist democracy.
Aksyonov also wrote numerous short stories and several screenplays, as well as a fictionalized travelogue, Kruglye sutki: Non-stop (1976), based on his experiences as a visiting professor at the University of California in Los Angeles in the 1970’s. His autobiography Vpoiskakh grustnogo bebi (1987; In Search of Melancholy Baby, 1987) simultaneously celebrates the freedom of American society and mourns the loss of Americans’ moral fiber. He served as an editor for the literary journal Youth and the anthology Metropol.