Vladimir Tendryakov

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Vladimir Tendryakov
Born (1923-12-05)December 5, 1923
Makarovskaya, Russian SFSR
Died August 3, 1984(1984-08-03) (aged 60)
Moscow, Soviet Union

Vladimir Tendryakov (Russian: Влади́мир Фёдорович Тендряко́в) (December 5, 1923 – August 3, 1984) was a Soviet short story writer and novelist.


He was born at Makarovskaya near Vologda in 1923. His father was a civil servant. He studied at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow. He started writing in the late 1940s and graduated with a degree in literature in 1951. He became a professional writer in 1955, during the first wave of Nikita Khrushchev's destalinization. His novel Assassinating Mirages (Pokushenie na mirazhi) (written 1979-1982), which was critical of the Soviet state, remained unpublished until 1987 [1], when censorship was eased during perestroika.

Tendryakov as a writer was a foremost ethicist, and most of his works revolve around the problems of moral choice. Thus, his most famous novella "Three, Seven, Ace" (Тройка, Семерка, Туз) is about an ordinary citizen's fear to speak up and save an innocent man from a murder conviction. His novella "Potholes" (Ukhaby) describes an accident victim's life being sacrificed to blind adherence to rules and regulation. His novel Assassinating Mirages is Tendryakov's masterpiece, containing a lifetime of reflections on issues of ethics, violence, cruelty and difficulty of moral choice (the novel's plot revolves around a physicist's attempt to analyse History by creating a computer model of it, then removing the figure of Jesus Christ from the equation and studying the differences that result. The answer comes as a complete surprise.)

Tendryakov died in Moscow in 1984, a year before the beginning of perestroika.


English translations

  • Son-in-Law, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, [1956 or 1957], 162p.
  • Three, Seven, Ace & Other Stories, tr. by David Alger, Olive Stevens and Paul Falla, London, Harvill Press, 1973, ISBN 0-00-271757-3, 252p. Contents:
    • Three, Seven, Ace
    • Justice
    • Creature of a Day
  • A Topsy-Turvy Spring: Stories, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1978, 413p.
  • Donna Anna, from The Wild Beach and Other Stories, Ardis Publishers, 1992.
  • Bread for a Dog, from 50 Writers: An Anthology of 20th Century Russian Short Stories, Academic Studies Press, 2011.

In Russian

  • Находка (Nakhodka) (1965)
  • Не ко двору (Ne ko dvory) (1954)
  • Суд (Sud) (1960)
  • Тройка, семерка, туз (Troika, semerka, tuz = Three, seven, ace) (1961)
  • Ухабы (Ukhaby) (1956)
  • Путешествие длиной в век (Puteshestvie dlinoj v vek), in Antology of Modern Science Fiction in 25 volumes (Библиотека современной фантастики), volume 19, Moscow, Molodaya Gvardiya, 1965 — 1973.
  • Ночь после выпуска (Noch' posle vypuska) (1972)
  • Чистые воды Китежа (Chistye vody Kitezha)
  • Покушение на миражи (Pokushenie na mirazhi)


  • ^ See David Gillespie. "Russian Literature, 1953-1991" in The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature, ed. Neil Cornwell, London, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0-415-23366-6 p. 230

External links