Lev Kassil

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Lev Kassil
File:Lev Kassil.jpg
Born (1905-06-27)June 27, 1905
Died June 21, 1970(1970-06-21) (aged 64)
Nationality Jewish
Genre fiction

Lev Abramovich Kassil (Russian: Лев Абра́мович Касси́ль) (27 June 1905, Pokrovskaya – 21 June 1970, Moscow) was a Soviet writer of juvenile and young adult literature, depicting Soviet life, teenagers and their world, school, sports, cultural life, and war.


In 1923 Kassil entered Moscow State University, where he studied aerodynamics. He published his first tale in 1925, and eventually became a REF and LEF member. In 1927 Mayakovsky invited him to share in the magazine called New LEF. His most important works were two autobiographical novels for young people dealing with student life before the Revolution, Konduit (The conduct book, 1929, tr. as The Black Book) and Shvambraniya (1931, tr. as The Land of Shvambrania); the two were revised and combined into one book called Konduit i Shvambraniya (1935, tr. as The Black Book and Shwambrania).[1]

His books were often "development novels" describing how young people could, despite their mistakes, reach a mature view of life. Modesty, unselfishness, endurance, and courage were virtues that Kassil held dear.

In 1950 he received the Stalin Prize for his book «Улица младшего сына» (1949, co-authored with M. Polyanovsky), the life story of young Volodia Dubinin and his struggle during the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

Kassil taught at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute for a long period. In 1965 he was elected member of the Academy of Pedagogical Science of the Soviet Union.

A minor planet, 2149 Schwambraniya, discovered in 1977 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Chernykh, is named after the fictional land from his novel The Black Book and Schwambrania.[2]

Selected works

  • The Black Book and Schwambrania (1930-1933) - «Кондуит и Швамбрания»
  • The Great Opposition
  • The Goalkeeper of the Republic (1938) - «Вратарь республики»


  1. Wolfgang Kasack, Dictionary of Russian Literature Since 1917 (Columbia University Press, 1988; ISBN 0231052421), pp. 159-60.
  2. Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 174. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>