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Alexander Grin
Birth: Aug. 23, 1880
Death: Jul. 8, 1932

Author. One of Russia's leading writers of fantasy. In his novels and stories he created his own exotic country, "Grinlandia", in which pure-hearted souls search for love and adventure and have a constant poetic dialogue with the sea. His best known book, "Scarlet Sails" (1923), has been called "the Russian 'Treasure Island'". Alexander Stepanovich Grinevsky was born near Vyatka (now Kirov), Russia, the son of an exiled Polish dissident. At 16 he ran away from an abusive home and lived as a vagabond, traveling on foot from Odessa to the Urals and supporting himself with odd jobs and panhandling. He read a great deal, counting Robert Louis Stevenson and Jules Verne among his favorites, and carried a portrait of Poe with him everywhere he went. By the early 1900s he was in St. Petersburg and a member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, distributing propaganda to the Russian Army and Navy. His first short story was published in 1906. That same year he was arrested by the Czarist police and exiled to Tobolsk in Siberia; he escaped soon after his arrival and returned to St. Petersburg on a false passport. In 1910 he was arrested again and banished to Arkhangelsk in the extreme north. Following his 1912 release he devoted himself to writing and remained resolutely apolitical in his life and work. Publishers marketed Grin for teenage readers but the author made no distinction between "juvenile" and "adult" fiction, and neither World War I nor the Bolshevik Revolution affected the atmosphere of pure fantasy he wove in his tales; for him it was a necessary retreat from unhappy reality. He became very popular in the 1920s, when Russians of all ages, weary of war and privation, found the escapism he offered most welcome. All his novels - including "The Shining World" (1923), "The Golden Chain" (1925), "She Who Runs on the Waves" (1928), "Jessie and Morgiana" (1929), and "The Road to Nowhere" (1929) - and many of his 300 short stories appeared during this period. In 1924 he settled in the Crimean resort town of Feodosiya to be near the sea he loved, but his hard-won peace of mind did not last long. With the rise of dictator Josef Stalin, critics began to castigate Grin's tales as "irrelevant" to the Soviet epoch and he was unable to publish after 1930. He died of cancer, in dire poverty, at 51. Not surprisingly, his books made a considerable comeback after World War II but this time the government banned them outright as "useless dreaming" and they would not reappear until 1956. "Scarlet Sails" and "Jessie and Morgiana" have been made into films. While Grin remains a beloved literary figure in Russia his work is not well-represented in the West, where only "Scarlet Sails" and a handful of stories have been translated. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Nina Nikolaevna Grin (1894 - 1970)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Staryi Krym Cemetery
Staryi Krym
Republic of Crimea, Ukraine
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Apr 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35927579
Alexander Grin
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
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- Ryan Curtis
 Added: Jul. 8, 2014

- INGRIN
 Added: Jun. 19, 2013
Happy Birthday, Alexander! Rest in Peace, Dear One!
- Cari
 Added: Aug. 23, 2012
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Current ranking for this person: (3.9 after 17 votes)
 

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