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The page of Solohov, Mihail Alekszandrovics, English biography

Image of Solohov, Mihail Alekszandrovics
Solohov, Mihail Alekszandrovics
(Шолохов, Михаил Александрович)


Soviet/Russian novelist.
Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov was born in the Kamenskaya region of Russia (Kruzhlinin hamlet, part of stanitsa Veshenskaya, former Region of the Don Cossack Army) known as the "land of the Cossacks", his father was a Russian of the lower middle class who had many occupations, such as farming, cattle trading, and milling. Sholokhov's mother came from an Ukrainian peasant stock and was the widow of a Cossack. She was illiterate but learned to read and write in order to correspond with her son. Sholokhov attended schools in Kargin, Moscow, Boguchar, and Veshenskaia until 1918, when he joined the side of the revolutionaries in the civil war. He was only 13 years old.
Sholokhov began writing at 17. The Birthmark, Sholokhov's first story, appeared when he was 19. In 1922 Sholokhov moved to Moscow to become a journalist, but he had to support himself by doing manual labour. He was a stevedore, stonemason, and accountant (1922-1924), but also intermittently participated in writers "seminars". His first work to appear in print was the satirical article A Test (1922).
In 1924 Sholokhov returned to Veshesnkaya and devoted himself entirely to writing. In the same year he married Mariia Petrovna Gromoslavskaia; they had two daughters and two sons.
His first book Tales from the Don (1926), a volume of stories about the Cossacks of his native region during World War I and the Russian Civil War, won him the 1965 Nobel Prize for Literature. In the same year Sholokhov began writing And Quiet Flows the Don (earned Stalin Prize), which took him fourteen years to complete (1928-1940). It became the most read work of Soviet fiction and was heralded as a powerful example of Socialist Realism. Virgin Soil Upturned (earned Lenin Prize), written in two parts (Seeds of Tomorrow (1932) and Harvest on the Don (1960)) took 28 years to complete and reflects life during collectivization in the Don area. The short story The Fate of a Man (1957) was made into a popular Russian film and his unfinished novel They Fought for Their Country is about the Great Patriotic War.
During World War II Sholokhov wrote about the Soviet war efforts for various journals.
His collected works was published in eight volumes between 1956 and 1960.
Sholokhov has been accused, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn among others, of plagiarizing And Quiet Flows the Don. The evidence was largely circumstantial: Sholokhov's age at the time of its composition and, in particular, the gulf in quality between his masterpiece and his other works. To complicate matters, Sholokhov could produce no rough drafts of Don, claiming that they had been destroyed by the Germans during World War II. A 1984 monograph by Geir Kjetsaa and others demonstrated through computer study that Sholokhov was indeed the likely author of Don. And in 1987, several thousand pages of notes and drafts of the work were discovered and authenticated.
Sholokhov joined the CPSU in 1932, and in 1937 he was elected to the Soviet Parliament. In 1959 he accompanied Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on a trip to Europe and the United States. He became a member of the CPSU Central Committee in 1961, Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1939, and was a member of the USSR Supreme Soviet. He was twice awarded Hero of Socialist Labor, and later became vice president of the Association of Soviet Writers.
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