Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1965
Born: 24 May 1905, Veshenskaya, Russia
Died: 21 February 1984, Veshenskaya, USSR (now Russia)
Residence at the time of the award: USSR (now Russia)
Prize motivation: “for the artistic power and integrity with which, in his epic of the Don, he has given expression to a historic phase in the life of the Russian people”
Prize share: 1/1
Mikhail Sholokhov was born in Vyoshenskaya, Russia. At the age of 13, he joined the Bolshevik side in the Russian Civil War. In 1922, he moved to Moscow to become a journalist. Two years later he returned to Vyoshenskaya and devoted himself entirely to writing. His first novel, Donskie Rasskazy (Tales from the Don), was based on his experiences during World War I and the Russian Civil War.
Mikhail Sholokhov’s work Tikhii Don (1940) (And Quiet Flows the Don) took 14 years to complete. It became the most-read work of Soviet fiction and was heralded as a powerful example of socialist realism. Sholokhov was deeply interested in human destinies played against the background of the transformations and troubles in Russia. His other major work in the Don cycle, Podnyataya Tselina (Virgin Soil Upturned), took 27 years to finish.
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