Zoshchenko, Mikhail Mikhailovich

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Mikhail Mikhailovich Zoshchenko (mēkhəyēl mēkhī´ləvĬch zô´shchənkô), 1895–1958, Soviet humorist. Zoshchenko was born in Poltava, but spent most of his life in St. Petersburg where he attended the university. His first collection of short stories (1922) was a major success, and he became one of the most popular Soviet writers of the 1920s and 30s, poking fun at everything, while maintaining his artistic independence. His longer works, Youth Restored (1933) and The Blue Book (1936), combine fiction and nonfiction. Before Sunrise (1943) is autobiographical. A victim of the 1946 literary purge, Zoshchenko was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers and his works were banned. His stories were not published again until 1956.

See his Scenes from the Bathhouse, ed. by S. Monas and M. Slonim (tr. 1961), Nervous People and Other Satires, ed. by H. McLean (tr. 1963), and The Woman Who Could Not Read (tr. 1940, repr. 1973).