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Aleksandr Kuprin


Aleksandr Kuprin was born in 1870 in Narovchat. When his father died of cholera, he and his mother – a Tatar princess – moved to Moscow. He attended military school and then, at his mother’s request, became an army officer for four years. He resigned after four years, allegedly because of a dispute with a policeman. He then moved to Kiev and earned his living from a variety of jobs, including writing. In 1901, he moved to St. Petersburg and was married the following year, though the marriage only lasted six years. By this time, he had already published some of the novels and stories that were to make him famous. His best work exposes some of the social problems of the day – the army, prostitution, industrial development and the cost to the workers. His work was well received by many of the leading writers of the day. Despite his views on social problems in Russia, he was anti-Bolshevik and left Russia for Paris after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. However, he was not happy there and returned to Russia in 1937, where he was welcomed. He died the following year of cancer. His best writing was his early work, written prior to the Revolution.

Note that there is a painter of the same name, who was a contemporary of the writer.

Other links

Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin
Aleksandr Kuprin
Aleksandr Kuprin
Texts of most of his works (in Russian)


(Only works translated into English)

1894 Славянская душа (A Slav Soul)
1895 Картина (The Picture)
1898 Олеся (Olessia)
1905 Поединок (The Duel)
1906 Река жизни (The River of Life)
1906 Суламифь (Sulamith)
1907 Слон (The Elephant)
1909-1915 Яма (Yama: The Pit; The Pit)
1911 Гранатовый браслет (The Bracelet of Garnets and Other Stories; The Garnet Bracelet and Other Stories)
1925 Гамбринус (Gambrinus and Other Stories)
1927 Ю-ю (Yushka)
1947 The White Poodle and The Elephant
1969 Tales