Ivan Bunin


Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1933

Born: 22 October 1870, Voronezh, Russia

Died: 8 November 1953, Paris, France

Prize motivation: “for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing”

Language: Russian

stateless domicile in France

Prize share: 1/1


Ivan Bunin was born into a family of landowners in Vorónezh in Western Russia and spent his childhood in the country on the family’s estates. His mother, Lyudmila Alexandrovna, introduced him to Russian folklore, and he began writing poetry and prose at an early age. He traveled around Russia, southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. In 1909 he was elected to membership in the Russian Academy of Sciences. Because of the Bolshevik regime, he left Russia in 1920 and lived the remainder of his life in France.


Ivan Bunin’s works consist of poetry, prose and translations. He debuted with the collection Poems (1887–1891), a book of poetry that shows elements of symbolism. The inspiration he drew from realism emerges in a series of melancholy stories about the Russian countryside and its decline, in which he wanted to describe “a Russia without make-up.” The novels Derévnya (1910) (The Village) and Sukhodól (1912) depicted the crudity of village life and the decline of the landowner class. Bunin’s prose style is characterized by melancholy, reserve and concentration, a condensed elegance.

To cite this section
MLA style: Ivan Bunin – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Mon. 4 Dec 2023. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1933/bunin/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Streams during Nobel Week

Watch the 2023 Nobel Prize lectures, the Nobel Prize Concert, Nobel Week Dialogue, the prize award ceremonies in Oslo and Stockholm and Nobel Peace Prize Forum here at nobelprize.org.
Watch lectures and award ceremonies

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.