Leonov Leonid Maksimovich (1899-1994), prose writer, playwright. Born May 19 (31 N. s.) In Moscow in the family of a poet of a peasant trend, known at the time. His publishing activities more than once brought him police reprisals. Children’s years of the future writer were held in Moscow Zaryadye, where he studied at the city school, and then entered the city gymnasium. In those years in the Arkhangelsk newspaper “North Morning”, whose editor was his father, the first poems, theatrical reviews and sketches of Leonid Leonov appeared. During the Civil War, he joined the Red Army, took part in battles on the Southern Front, and worked in the military press.
In 1921 he returned to Moscow, published his poems and satirical articles in the newspaper “Red Warrior”. Then came the first stories that marked the beginning of his literary biography: “Buryga”, “Tuatamur”, “Petushikhinsky Break”, “The End of the Small Man.”
In 1924, the novel “Badgers” was published, highly praised by Gorky and Lunacharsky; in 1927 – the novel “The Thief”. Major role in the development of Leonov as an artist was played by M. Gorky, who also approved the novel “Sot” (1929). In the 1930s Leonov’s novels Skutarevsky, The Road to the Ocean, plays Polovchanskiye Gardens, Volk, and others were published. In the years of the Patriotic War, the plays Invasion and Lenaushka were written, which were very successful.
Leonov’s most significant work is the novel “Russian Forest”, which was published in 1953 and became a great event in the literature.
The writer’s post-war career is diverse in terms of problems and genres: the play “The Golden Carriage”, the film “The Escape of Mr. McKinley”, the novel “Evgenia lvanovna”, publicistic works aimed at protecting the world and preserving nature.
In the 1980s, fragments from the novel “Pyramid” were published, over which the writer worked in recent years without ever completing it. In this novel, the evolution of nature and the evolution of human consciousness are considered by the writer as a single process. L. Leonov died at the age of 95 in Moscow.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.