The Most Famous

WRITERS from Ukraine

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This page contains a list of the greatest Ukrainian Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 91 of which were born in Ukraine. This makes Ukraine the birth place of the 13th most number of Writers behind China and Japan.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Ukrainian Writers of all time. This list of famous Ukrainian Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Ukrainian Writers.

Photo of Nikolai Gogol

1. Nikolai Gogol (1809 - 1852)

With an HPI of 85.09, Nikolai Gogol is the most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 97 different languages on wikipedia.

Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol (; Russian: Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь, tr. Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol, IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈlaj vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ˈgogəlʲ]; Ukrainian: Мико́ла Васи́льович Го́голь, romanized: Mykola Vasylovych Hohol; 1 April [O.S. 20 March] 1809 – 4 March [O.S. 21 February] 1852) was a Russian novelist, short story writer and playwright of Ukrainian origin.Gogol was one of the first to use the techniques of surrealism and the grotesque in his works ("The Nose", "Viy", "The Overcoat", "Nevsky Prospekt"). Kornelije Kvas wrote that "the logical construction of Gogol’s The Petersburg Tales remains realistic, for the grotesque and fantastic elements fit in with the realistic matrix of events, following the logic of events that is close to the regularity of the unfolding of events in the reality that is accessible to us". According to Viktor Shklovsky, the strange style of writing that Gogol used is more like the "ostranenie" technique. His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls). The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", are also among his best-known works. According to Vissarion Belinsky and Nikolay Chernyshevsky, Gogol had a huge influence on Russian and world literature. Gogol's influence was acknowledged by Mikhail Bulgakov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Flannery O'Connor, Franz Kafka and others.

Photo of Mikhail Bulgakov

2. Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940)

With an HPI of 80.45, Mikhail Bulgakov is the 2nd most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 83 different languages.

Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаил Афанасьевич Булгаков, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil ɐfɐˈnasʲjɪvʲɪtɕ bʊlˈɡakəf]; 15 May [O.S. 3 May] 1891 – 10 March 1940) was a Russian writer, medical doctor and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, published posthumously, which has been called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.He is also known for his novel The White Guard (also called Belaya gvardiya) (Russian: Белая гвардия, romanized: B'elaya gvardiya), his plays Ivan Vasilievich, Flight (also called The Run) (Russian: Бег, romanized: B'eg), The Days of the Turbins (Russian: Дни Турбиных, romanized: Dn'i Turb'inykh), and other works of the 1920s and 1930s. He wrote mostly about the horrors of the Russian Civil War and about the fate of Russian intellectuals and officers of the Tsarist Army caught up in revolution and Civil War.Some of his works (Flight, all his works between the years 1922 and 1926, and others) were banned by the Soviet government, and personally by Joseph Stalin, after it was decided by them that they "glorified emigration and White generals". On the other hand, Stalin loved The Days of the Turbins (also called The Turbin Brothers) very much and reportedly saw it at least 15 times.

Photo of Joseph Conrad

3. Joseph Conrad (1857 - 1924)

With an HPI of 79.99, Joseph Conrad is the 3rd most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 84 different languages.

Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, Polish: [ˈjuzɛf tɛˈɔdɔr ˈkɔnrat kɔʐɛˈɲɔfskʲi] (listen); 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he became a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature. Conrad wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of what he saw as an impassive, inscrutable universe.Conrad is considered an early modernist, though his works contain elements of 19th-century realism. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters, as in Lord Jim, for example, have influenced numerous authors. Many dramatic films have been adapted from, or inspired by, his works. Numerous writers and critics have commented that Conrad's fictional works, written largely in the first two decades of the 20th century, seem to have anticipated later world events.Writing near the peak of the British Empire, Conrad drew on the national experiences of his native Poland – during nearly all his life, parceled out among three occupying empires – and on his own experiences in the French and British merchant navies, to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world – including imperialism and colonialism – and that profoundly explore the human psyche.

Photo of Svetlana Alexievich

4. Svetlana Alexievich (1948 - )

With an HPI of 78.24, Svetlana Alexievich is the 4th most famous Ukrainian Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 91 different languages.

Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich (born 31 May 1948) is a Belarusian investigative journalist, essayist and oral historian who writes in Russian. She was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time". She is the first writer from Belarus to receive the award.

Photo of Anna Akhmatova

5. Anna Akhmatova (1889 - 1966)

With an HPI of 77.89, Anna Akhmatova is the 5th most famous Ukrainian Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 96 different languages.

Anna Andreyevna Gorenko (23 June [O.S. 11 June] 1889 – 5 March 1966), better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was one of the most significant Russian poets of the 20th century. She was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 1965 and received second-most (three) nominations for the award the following year. Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods – the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of reduced literary output. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities, and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate and remaining in the Soviet Union, acting as witness to the events around her. Her perennial themes include meditations on time and memory, and the difficulties of living and writing in the shadow of Stalinism. Primary sources of information about Akhmatova's life are relatively scant, as war, revolution and the Soviet regime caused much of the written record to be destroyed. For long periods she was in official disfavour and many of those who were close to her died in the aftermath of the revolution. Akhmatova's first husband, Nikolay Gumilyov, was executed by the Soviet secret police, and her son Lev Gumilyov and her common-law husband Nikolay Punin spent many years in the Gulag, where Punin died.

Photo of Taras Shevchenko

6. Taras Shevchenko (1814 - 1861)

With an HPI of 77.58, Taras Shevchenko is the 6th most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 76 different languages.

Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko (Ukrainian: Тара́с Григо́рович Шевче́нко [tɐˈrɑz ɦrɪˈɦɔrowɪtʃ ʃeu̯ˈtʃɛnko]; 9 March [O.S. 25 February] 1814 – 10 March [O.S. 26 February] 1861), also known as Kobzar Taras, or simply Kobzar, was a Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, public and political figure, as well as folklorist and ethnographer. His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language, though the language of his poems was different from the modern Ukrainian language. Shevchenko is also known for many masterpieces as a painter and an illustrator.He was a fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts. Though he had never been the member of the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius, in 1847 Shevchenko was politically convicted for explicitly promoting the independence of Ukraine, writing poems in the Ukrainian language, and ridiculing members of the Russian Imperial House. Contrary to the members of the society who did not understand that their activity led to the idea of the independent Ukraine, according to the secret police, he was the champion of independence.

Photo of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

7. Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836 - 1895)

With an HPI of 77.32, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is the 7th most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch (German: [ˈleːopɔlt fɔn ˈzaxɐ ˈmaːzɔx]; 27 January 1836 – 9 March 1895) was an Austrian nobleman, writer and journalist, who gained renown for his romantic stories of Galician life. The term masochism is derived from his name, invented by his contemporary, the Austrian psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing. Masoch did not approve of this use of his name.During his lifetime, Sacher-Masoch was well known as a man of letters, in particular a utopian thinker who espoused socialist and humanist ideals in his fiction and non-fiction. Most of his works remain untranslated into English. Until recently, his novella "Venus in Furs was his only book commonly available in English, but an English translation by William Holmes of Die Gottesmutter was released in 2015 as The Mother of God.

Photo of Shmuel Yosef Agnon

8. Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888 - 1970)

With an HPI of 76.65, Shmuel Yosef Agnon is the 8th most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 77 different languages.

Shmuel Yosef Agnon (Hebrew: שמואל יוסף עגנון‎) (July 17, 1888 – February 17, 1970) was a Nobel Prize laureate writer and was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. In Hebrew, he is known by the acronym Shai Agnon (ש"י עגנון‎). In English, his works are published under the name S. Y. Agnon. Agnon was born in Polish Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and later immigrated to Mandatory Palestine, and died in Jerusalem. His works deal with the conflict between the traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world. They also attempt to recapture the fading traditions of the European shtetl (village). In a wider context, he also contributed to broadening the characteristic conception of the narrator's role in literature. Agnon had a distinctive linguistic style mixing modern and rabbinic Hebrew. Agnon shared the Nobel Prize with the poet Nelly Sachs in 1966.

Photo of Sholem Aleichem

9. Sholem Aleichem (1859 - 1916)

With an HPI of 76.29, Sholem Aleichem is the 9th most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddish and Hebrew: שלום עליכם‎, also spelled שאָלעמ־אלייכעמ‎ in Soviet Yiddish, [ˈʃɔləm aˈlɛjxəm]; Russian and Ukrainian: Шо́лом-Але́йхем) (March 2 [O.S. February 18] 1859 – May 13, 1916), was a leading Yiddish author and playwright. The 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on his stories about Tevye the Dairyman, was the first commercially successful English-language stage production about Jewish life in Eastern Europe. The Hebrew phrase שלום עליכם (shalom aleichem) literally means "[May] peace [be] upon you!", and is a greeting in traditional Hebrew and Yiddish.

Photo of Joseph Roth

10. Joseph Roth (1894 - 1939)

With an HPI of 76.06, Joseph Roth is the 10th most famous Ukrainian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.

Joseph Roth, born Moses Joseph Roth (2 September 1894 – 27 May 1939), was an Austrian journalist and novelist, best known for his family saga Radetzky March (1932), about the decline and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, his novel of Jewish life Job (1930) and his seminal essay "Juden auf Wanderschaft" (1927; translated into English in The Wandering Jews), a fragmented account of the Jewish migrations from eastern to western Europe in the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution. In the 21st century, publications in English of Radetzky March and of collections of his journalism from Berlin and Paris created a revival of interest in Roth.

Pantheon has 91 people classified as writers born between 1056 and 1974. Of these 91, 9 (9.89%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Svetlana Alexievich, Lina Kostenko, and Adam Zagajewski. The most famous deceased writers include Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Joseph Conrad. As of October 2020, 13 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Vasyl Stus, Mikhail Koltsov, and Ida Fink.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.