Nobel Prize Laureate Author. He was awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize for Literature. He won fame for his novels and stories about the Don Cossacks, who lived near the Don River in Russia. His masterpiece is the mammoth historical novel "The Quiet Don". Originally published in four parts between 1928 and 1940, it chronicles how the Russian Revolution and ensuing Civil War swept through the Don region. The Cossack hero, Melekhov, vacillates between the Reds (Bolsheviks) and the Whites (Czarists), and winds up fighting for both sides. "The Quiet Don" angered Soviet authorities because it did not strictly adhere to the mandatory tenets of Socialist Realism. The characters are all multidimensional beings, the tone is ambiguous throughout, and in the end Melekhov remains undecided about communism. But the novel was so popular it had to be accepted on its artistic merits. It was published abroad in two volumes, "And Quiet Flows the Don" (1934) and "The Don Flows Home to the Sea" (1941), and has been translated into 32 languages. Sholokhov was born in Veshenskaya, a Don Cossack village, and lived there most of his life. He fought with the Red Army during the Russian Civil War and first gained notice for two books of short stories, "Don Tales" (1925) and "The Azure Steppe" (1926). In 1936 he was elected to the Supreme Soviet, and he was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1939. His only other large-scale work is "Virgin Soil Upturned" (two parts, 1932 and 1960), an inferior novel about collective farming. After 1960 Sholokhov produced very little and publicly denounced dissident authors such as Boris Pasternak ("Doctor Zhivago"). Several Russian writers, notably fellow Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn, have accused Sholokhov of plagiarizing part, if not all, of "The Quiet Don"; the debate over this still continues.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards