Vyacheslav Shishkov
Vyacheslav Yakovlevich Shishkov (—March 6, 1945) was a Soviet and Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n writer known for his descriptions of Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

. He was awarded the Stalin Prize posthumously (1946).

Shishkov was born in Bezhetsk
Bezhetsk is a town in Tver Oblast, Russia, located on the Mologa River at its confluence with the Ostrechina River. It serves as the administrative center of Bezhetsky District, although it is not administratively a part of it. Population: 29,000 ....

 into a merchant family. In 1891 he graduated from the Vyshny Volochyok
Vyshny Volochyok
Vyshny Volochyok , also known as Vyshny Volochok , is a town in Tver Oblast, Russia. Population: The town is located northwest of Tver, in the Valdai Hills, between the Tveritsa and Tsna Rivers, on the watershed between the basins of the Volga and the Baltic Sea. Hence the town's name is...

 Civil Engineering College (Vyshnevolotskoe uchilishche konduktorov putei soobshcheniya). After working for short periods in Novgorod
Novgorod Governorate
Novgorod Governorate , or Government of Novgorod, was a governorate of the Russian Empire.The governorate was established in 1727 from Belozersk, Novgorod, Pskov, Tver, and Velikiye Luki Provinces of the St. Petersburg Governorate and existed until 1927, when its territory was included into...

 and Vologda
Vologda Governorate
The Vologda Governorate or Government of Vologda was a guberniya in the historical northern region of the European part of Russian Empire.In its size it was second right after the neighboring Archangelgorod Governorate...

 governorates, in 1894 he came to work for the Tomsk
Tomsk is a city and the administrative center of Tomsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Tom River. One of the oldest towns in Siberia, Tomsk celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004...

 District department of waterways. He participated in geodetic expeditions and from 1903 was a supervisor of many of them, studying the Ob
Ob River
The Ob River , also Obi, is a major river in western Siberia, Russia and is the world's seventh longest river. It is the westernmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean .The Gulf of Ob is the world's longest estuary.-Names:The Ob is known to the Khanty people as the...

, Yenisei
Lena River
The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean . It is the 11th longest river in the world and has the 9th largest watershed...

, Chulym
Chulym River (Ob River)
The Chulym is a river in Krasnoyarsk Krai and Tomsk Oblast in Russia, a right tributary of the Ob River. The length of the river is . The area of its basin is . The Chulym flows into the Ob in Ust-Chulym...

, Charysh, Lena
Lena River
The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean . It is the 11th longest river in the world and has the 9th largest watershed...

, Vitim
Vitim River
Vitim River is a major tributary of the Lena River. With its source east of Lake Baikal, the Vitim flows 1,978 km north through the Transbaykalian Mountains and the town of Bodaybo. The river peaks in June and freezes from November to May. It is navigable from the Lena to Bodaybo. Upstream,...

, and other Siberian rivers; of particular importance for him, both as an engineer and as a writer, was his work on the Biya River
Biya River
The Biya River is a river in the Altai Republic and Altai Krai in Russia. It forms the Ob River as it joins the Katun River. The Biya River is 301 km long; the area of its drainage basin is 37,000 km². It flows out of the Teletskoye Lake. The river freezes up in the mid-November to early December...

 and on the route of the future Chuya highway
M52 highway (Russia)
The Russian route M52, also known as Chuya Highway or Chuysky Trakt , is a trunk road in Novosibirsk Oblast, Altai Krai and Altai Republic of Russia. Its length is 953 kilometres...

. His first publication was the story "Cedar" (1908) in Siberian Life (Tomsk); following this, he published a number of travel essays and short stories. He began an active literary career in 1913 and moved to Petrograd in 1915, where he became friends with Maxim Gorky
Maxim Gorky
Alexei Maximovich Peshkov , primarily known as Maxim Gorky , was a Russian and Soviet author, a founder of the Socialist Realism literary method and a political activist.-Early years:...

. In 1916 with Gorky's assistance he published his first collection of short stories, Sibirskii skaz ("Siberian skaz
Skaz is a Russian literary term that describes a particularly oral form of narrative. The word comes from skazat, "to tell", and is also related to such words as rasskaz, "short story" and skazka, "fairy tale". The speech makes use of dialect and slang in order to take on the persona of a...


After the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

, about which he felt apprehension, he spent some time wandering around Russia (in the Luga district, Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

, Kostroma
Kostroma is a historic city and the administrative center of Kostroma Oblast, Russia. A part of the Golden Ring of Russian towns, it is located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers...

, and Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

). He visited the city of Ostashkov
Ostashkov is a town and the administrative center of Ostashkovsky District of Tver Oblast, Russia, located west of Tver on a peninsula at the southern shore of Lake Seliger. Population:...

, where he began work on his novel Ugryum-reka ("Ugryum River" or "Grim River"), a historical novel about wealthy Siberian merchants at the turn of the century which was published in two volumes in 1933. His first novel to be published, however, was Vataga ("The gang," 1923). From 1927 he lived in Detskoye Selo
Pushkin (town)
Pushkin is a municipal town in Pushkinsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located south from the center of St. Petersburg proper, and its train station, Detskoye Selo, is directly connected by railway to the Vitebsky Rail Terminal of the city...

. For the last seven years of his life he worked on the historical epic Yemelyan Pugachev , "a colorful panorama of the 18th-century Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

 and peasant uprising
Pugachev's Rebellion
Pugachev's Rebellion of 1774-75 was the principal revolt in a series of popular rebellions that took place in Russia after Catherine II seized power in 1762...

," whose first volume he published in 1941 while he was living in blockaded Leningrad; it was published (unfinished) in three volumes after his death and won him the Stalin Prize. He left Leningrad in April of 1942 and his seventieth birthday was celebrated in Moscow in October 1943; on this occasion he was awarded the Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin , named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union...

. After his death in 1945 he was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Moscow, Russia. It is next to the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent, which is the city's third most popular tourist site. It should not be confused with the Novodevichy Cemetery in Saint Petersburg....

 (site number 2). In 1950 a monument to him was unveiled in Bezhetsk, and in 1973 a museum dedicated to him was opened there.

Biographies and critical works have been written by V. Bakhmetev (1947), A. Bogdanova (1953), I. Izotov (1956), V. Chalmayev (1969), N. Yeselev (1976), and N. Yanovsky (1984).

D. S. Mirsky
D. S. Mirsky
D.S. Mirsky is the English pen-name of Dmitry Petrovich Svyatopolk-Mirsky , often known as Prince Mirsky , a Russian political and literary historian who promoted the knowledge and translations of Russian literature in Britain and of English literature in the Soviet Union.-Life:A scion of the...

 wrote of him, "Vyacheslav Shishkov, a Siberian, is notable for his good Russian, a worthy pupil of Remizov and Prishvin
Mikhail Prishvin
Mikhail Mikhailovich Prishvin was a Russian/Soviet writer.Mikhail Prishvin was born in the family mansion of Krutschevo, near the city of Yelets in what is now Lipetsk Oblast into the family of a merchant. In 1893-1897, he studied at a polytechnic school in Riga and was once arrested for his...


English Translations

  • Children of Darkness, Hyperion Press.
  • Children of the Street, Strathcona Publishing Co, 1979.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.