Author. One of the most important writers of the early Soviet period of Russian Literature. His famous novel "We", written in 1920, depicts a dehumanized future society where people are given numbers instead of names and live in glass rooms under constant surveillance; everything else, including the weather, is controlled by the State. Clearly intended as a satire of communism, "We" was first published in England in 1924, where it directly influenced Aldous Huxley's novel "Brave New World" and George Orwell's "1984". Zamyatin was born in Lebedyan, Russia, and trained as a naval engineer. He got involved with the Bolsheviks as a student and in 1905 he was arrested and sentenced to three years of internal exile. After the October Revolution in 1917 he moved to St. Petersburg, where he founded the literary group "The Serapion Brothers". Zamyatin's other major works include the novel "In the Sticks" (1914), the well-known short story "The Cave" (1920), and the plays "The Fires of St. Dominic" (1922) and "The Flea" (1926). He also co-wrote the libretto of Dimitri Shostakovich's opera "The Nose" (1930). In 1929, the appearance of a Russian-language edition of "We" in Prague caused a firestorm of controversy in the Soviet Union. Zamyatin was denounced as an "enemy of the people", all his work was banned, and he was forbidden to publish anything new. After two years of vilification he wrote a letter to dictator Josef Stalin asking for permission to emigrate; surprisingly, his request was granted and he settled in France in 1932. Zamyatin was awarded membership in the new Union of Soviet Writers in 1936, but he never returned to his country and died of heart disease in Paris the following year. "We" was not published in the Soviet Union until 1988.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards