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The Best Russian Authors

Updated December 4, 2019 7.2k votes 1.1k voters 18.1k views127 items

List RulesVote up the greatest Russian writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays

List of the best Russian authors of both nonfiction and fiction literature, along with some authors of poetry. Russian authors have contributed to almost all genres of literature, including children's literature, mysteries and science fiction. Famous authors like Vladimir Nabokov have given us classics such as Lolita and Leo Tolstoy with Anna Karenina.

Although Russia has gone through political turmoils and two world wars, the writers of the time were still able to produce classic novels that help with social conditions and soul-searching. This will pose the question of who was able to do these things and "who are some of the best Russian authors?"

The list can be voted on for who is the best Russian author as well as suggestions to be added to the list for those obscure, but still the best, authors.
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    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire

    Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (; Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский, tr. Fyódor Mikháylovich Dostoyévskiy, IPA: [ˈfʲɵdər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ dəstɐˈjɛfskʲɪj] (listen); 11 November 1821 – 9 February...  more
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    389
    93

    Leo Tolstoy

    War and Peace, Anna Karenina

    BirthplaceYasnaya Polyana, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire

    Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (; Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой, tr. Lev Nikoláyevich Tolstóy; [lʲef nʲɪkɐˈlaɪvʲɪtɕ tɐlˈstoj] (listen); 9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November [O.S. 7...  more
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    303
    81

    Aleksandr Pushkin

    Eugene Onegin

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire

    Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (English: ; Russian: Александр Сергеевич Пушкин, tr. Aleksándr Sergéyevich Púshkin, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr sʲɪrˈɡʲe(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ ˈpuʂkʲɪn] (listen); 6 June [O.S. 26 May] 1799 –...  more
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    234
    36

    Anton Chekhov

    Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya

    BirthplaceTaganrog, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire

    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов, tr. Antón Pávlovič Čéhov, IPA: [ɐnˈton ˈpavɫəvʲɪtɕ ˈtɕɛxəf]; 29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904) was a Russian playwright and short-story writer,...  more
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    269
    66

    Nikolai Gogol

    The Nose, The Overcoat

    BirthplaceVelyki Sorochyntsi, Ukraine

    NationalityRussian Empire

    Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (31 March 1809 – 4 March 1852) was a Russian dramatist of Ukrainian origin.Although Gogol was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the preeminent figures of the...  more
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    183
    49

    Mikhail Bulgakov

    The Master and Margarita

    BirthplaceKiev, Ukraine

    NationalityRussia, Russian Empire, Soviet Union

    Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаи́л Афана́сьевич Булга́ков, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil ɐfɐˈnasʲjɪvʲɪtɕ bʊlˈɡakəf]; 15 May [O.S. 3 May] 1891 – 10 March 1940) was a Russian writer, medical doctor and...  more
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    123
    50

    Ivan Turgenev

    Fathers and Sons, The Diary of a Superfluous Man

    BirthplaceOryol, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire

    Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (English: ; Russian: Иван Сергеевич Тургенев, tr. Iván Sergéyevich Turgénev, IPA: [ɪˈvan sʲɪrˈɡʲeɪvʲɪtɕ tʊrˈɡʲenʲɪf]; November 9 [O.S. October 28] 1818 – September 3, 1883)...  more
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    128
    40

    Mikhail Lermontov

    A Hero of Our Time

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire

    Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (; Russian: Михаи́л Ю́рьевич Ле́рмонтов, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil ˈjurʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ˈlʲɛrməntəf]; October 15 [O.S. October 3] 1814 – July 27 [O.S. July 15] 1841) was a Russian Romantic...  more
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    143
    92

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    The Gulag Archipelago, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    BirthplaceKislovodsk, Russia

    NationalityRussia, Soviet Union

    Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (; 11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008) was a Russian novelist, historian, and short story writer. He was an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and communism and...  more
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    139
    92

    BirthplaceSaint Petersburg, Russia

    NationalityUnited States of America, Russian Empire

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (; Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков [vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪr nɐˈbokəf] (listen), also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin (Russian: Влади́мир Си́рин); 22 April [O.S. 10...  more
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    108
    41

    Vladimir Mayakovsky

    A Cloud in Trousers, Mystery-Bouffe

    BirthplaceBaghdati, Georgia

    NationalityRussia, Russian Empire, Soviet Union

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (; Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Маяко́вский; 19 July [O.S. 7 July] 1893 – 14 April 1930) was a Soviet poet, playwright, artist, and actor. During his early,...  more
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    52
    14

    Alexander Blok

    The Twelve, Pisʹma

    BirthplaceSaint Petersburg, Russia

    NationalityRussia

    Alexander Alexandrovich Blok (Russian: Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Бло́к, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɐlʲɪˈksandrəvʲɪtɕ ˈblok] (listen); 28 November [O.S. 16 November] 1880 – 7 August 1921) was a Russian lyrical...  more
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    73
    40

    Strugatsky Brothers

    Monday Begins on Saturday, Hard to be God

    BirthplaceBatumi, Georgia, Adjara, Europe, North Caucasus

    NationalityRussian

    The brothers Arkady Natanovich Strugatsky (Russian: Аркадий Натанович Стругацкий; 28 August 1925 – 12 October 1991) and Boris Natanovich Strugatsky (Russian: Борис Натанович Стругацкий; 14 April 1933...  more
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    64
    30

    Ilf and Petrov

    The Twelve Chairs , The Little Golden Calf

    NationalitySoviet Union

    Ilya Ilf (Ilya Arnoldovich Feinsilberg) (Russian: Илья Арнольдович Файнзильберг, 1897–1937) and Evgeny or Yevgeni Petrov (Yevgeniy Petrovich Kataev/Katayev or Russian: Евгений Петрович Катаев,...  more
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    49
    22

    Alexander Belyayev

    Amphibian Man, Bor'ba v Efire

    BirthplaceSmolensk, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire, Soviet Union

    Alexander Romanovich Belyaev (Russian: Алекса́ндр Рома́нович Беля́ев, [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr rɐˈmanəvʲɪtɕ bʲɪˈlʲæɪf]; 16 March [O.S. 4 March] 1884 – 6 January 1942) was a Soviet Russian writer of science...  more
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    25
    9

    Nikolai Leskov

    Siberian Lady Macbeth, The cathedral folk

    BirthplaceOryol, Russia

    Nikolai Semyonovich Leskov (Russian: Никола́й Семёнович Леско́в; 16 February [O.S. 4 February] 1831 – 5 March [O.S. 21 February] 1895) was a Russian novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and...  more
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    27
    9

    Fyodor Tyutchev

    Silentium!, Last Love

    BirthplaceBryansk, Russia

    NationalityRussia

    Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev (Russian: Фёдор Иванович Тютчев, Pre-Reform orthography: Ѳедоръ Ивановичъ Тютчевъ; December 5 [O.S. November 23] 1803 – July 27 [O.S. July 15] 1873) was a Russian poet and...  more
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    Alexander Ostrovsky

    The Storm, Enough Stupidity in Every Wise Man

    BirthplaceZamoskvorechye District

    NationalityRussia

    Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovsky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Остро́вский; 12 April [O.S. 31 March] 1823, Moscow, Russian Empire – 14 June [O.S. 2 June] 1886, Shchelykovo, Kostroma Governorate,...  more
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    24
    10

    Osip Mandelstam

    Topůrko pro kata, Voyage en Arménie

    BirthplaceWarsaw, Second Polish Republic

    NationalityRussia

    Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam (Russian: О́сип Эми́льевич Мандельшта́м, IPA: [ˈosʲɪp ɪˈmʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ məndʲɪlʲˈʂtam]; 14 January [O.S. 2 January] 1891 – 27 December 1938) was a Russian Jewish poet and...  more
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    97
    34

    Sergei Yesenin

    Land of Scoundrels

    BirthplaceKonstantinovo, Russia

    NationalityRussia

    Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin (; sometimes spelled as Esenin; Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Есе́нин, IPA: [sʲɪrˈgʲej ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ jɪˈsʲenʲɪn]; 3 October [O.S. 21 September] 1895 – 28 December...  more
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    41
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    Ivan Goncharov

    Oblomov, The Precipice

    BirthplaceUlyanovsk, Russia

    NationalityRussia

    Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov (, also US: ; Russian: Ива́н Алекса́ндрович Гончаро́в, tr. Iván Aleksándrovich Goncharóv, IPA: [ɪˈvan ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪdʑ ɡənʲtɕɪˈrof]; 18 June [O.S. 6 June] 1812 – 27...  more
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    103
    41

    Maxim Gorky

    Twenty-Six Men and a Girl, The Mother

    BirthplaceNizhny Novgorod, Russia

    NationalityRussia, Soviet Union

    Alexei Maximovich Peshkov (Russian: Алексе́й Макси́мович Пешко́в or Пе́шков; 28 March [O.S. 16 March] 1868 – 18 June 1936), primarily known as Maxim Gorky (Russian: Макси́м Го́рький), was a Russian...  more
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    82
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    Boris Pasternak

    Doctor Zhivago, The Second Birth

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia

    NationalityRussian Empire, Soviet Union

    Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (; Russian: Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к, IPA: [bɐˈrʲis lʲɪɐˈnʲidəvʲɪtɕ pəstɨrˈnak]; 10 February [O.S. 29 January] 1890 – 30 May 1960) was a Russian poet, novelist, and...  more
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    55
    21

    Sergey Lukyanenko

    Labyrinth of Reflections, Night Watch series

    BirthplaceKaratau, Kazakhstan

    NationalityRussia

    Sergei Vasilievich Lukyanenko (Russian: Серге́й Васи́льевич Лукья́ненко, Russian pronunciation: [sʲɪrˈɡʲej vɐˈsʲilʲjəvʲɪtɕ ɫʊˈkjænʲɪnkə]; born 11 April 1968) is a Russian science fiction and fantasy...  more