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.
With an HPI of 77.86, Nikolai Gogol is the most famous Ukrainian Writer. His biography has been translated into 99 different languages on wikipedia.
Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol (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 technique of the grotesque, in works such as "The Nose", "Viy", "The Overcoat", and "Nevsky Prospekt". These stories, and others such as "Diary of a Madman", have also been noted for their proto-surrealist qualities. According to Viktor Shklovsky, Gogol's strange style of writing resembles the "ostranenie" technique of defamiliarization. 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 contemporary Russia (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls), although Gogol also enjoyed the patronage of Tsar Nicholas I who liked his work. The novel Taras Bulba (1835), the play Marriage (1842), and the short stories "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", are also among his best-known works. Many writers and critics have recognized Gogol's huge influence on Russian, Ukrainian and world literature. Gogol's influence was acknowledged by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Franz Kafka, Mikhail Bulgakov, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O'Connor and others. Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé said: "We all came out from under Gogol's Overcoat."
With an HPI of 74.41, Mikhail Bulgakov is the 2nd most famous Ukrainian Writer. His biography has been translated into 87 different languages.
Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаил Афанасьевич Булгаков, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil ɐfɐˈnasʲjɪvʲɪdʑ bʊlˈɡakəf]; 15 May [O.S. 3 May] 1891 – 10 March 1940) was a Russian, later Soviet 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; his plays Ivan Vasilievich, Flight (also called The Run), and The Days of the Turbins; 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.
With an HPI of 73.91, Joseph Conrad is the 3rd most famous Ukrainian Writer. His biography has been translated into 85 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 novelist and short story writer. He is regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language; though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he came to be regarded a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature. He wrote novels and stories, many in nautical settings, that depict crises of human individuality in the midst of what he saw as an indifferent, inscrutable and amoral world.Conrad is considered a literary impressionist by some and an early modernist by others, though his works also 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 and inspired by his works. Numerous writers and critics have commented that his 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. Postcolonial analysis of Conrad's work has stimulated substantial debate; in 1975, author Chinua Achebe published an article denouncing Heart of Darkness as racist and dehumanising, whereas other scholars, including Adam Hochschild and Peter Edgerly Firchow, have rebutted Achebe's view.
With an HPI of 72.82, Svetlana Alexievich is the 4th most famous Ukrainian Writer. Her biography has been translated into 92 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.
With an HPI of 72.33, Taras Shevchenko is the 5th most famous Ukrainian Writer. His biography has been translated into 83 different languages.
Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko (Ukrainian: Тарас Григорович Шевченко [tɐˈrɑz ɦrɪˈɦɔrowɪtʃ ʃeu̯ˈtʃɛnko], pronounced [tɐˈrɑs] without the middle name; 9 March [O.S. 25 February] 1814 – 10 March [O.S. 26 February] 1861), also known as Kobzar Taras, or simply Kobzar (a kobzar is a bard in Ukrainian culture), was a Ukrainian poet, Russian writer, artist, public and political figure, 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 this is different from the language of his poems. He also wrote some works in Russian (nine novellas, a diary, and an autobiography). Shevchenko is also known for his many masterpieces as a painter and an illustrator.He was a fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts. Though he had never been a member of the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Shevchenko was convicted in 1847 of 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 an independent Ukraine, according to the secret police, he was a champion of independence.
With an HPI of 71.40, Anna Akhmatova is the 6th most famous Ukrainian Writer. Her biography has been translated into 99 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 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.
With an HPI of 70.11, 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.
With an HPI of 68.52, Joseph Roth is the 8th most famous Ukrainian Writer. His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.
Moses Joseph Roth (2 September 1894 – 27 May 1939) was an Austrian-Jewish 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 as 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.
With an HPI of 67.83, Sholem Aleichem is the 9th most famous Ukrainian Writer. His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.
Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich (Соломон Наумович Рабинович), better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddish and Hebrew: שלום עליכם, also spelled שאָלעם־אלייכעם in Soviet Yiddish, [ˈʃɔləm aˈlɛjxəm]; Russian and Ukrainian: Шо́лом-Але́йхем) (March 2 [O.S. February 18] 1859 – May 13, 1916), was a Yiddish author and playwright who lived in the Russian Empire and in the United States. The 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on Aleichem's 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.
With an HPI of 67.14, Ilya Ehrenburg is the 10th most famous Ukrainian Writer. His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.
Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg (Russian: Илья́ Григо́рьевич Эренбу́рг, pronounced [ɪˈlʲja ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲjɪvɪtɕ ɪrʲɪnˈburk] (listen); January 26 [O.S. January 14] 1891 – August 31, 1967) was a Soviet writer, revolutionary, journalist and historian. Ehrenburg was among the most prolific and notable authors of the Soviet Union; he published around one hundred titles. He became known first and foremost as a novelist and a journalist – in particular, as a reporter in three wars (First World War, Spanish Civil War and the Second World War). His incendiary articles calling for violence against Germans during the Great Patriotic War won him a huge following among front-line Soviet soldiers, but also caused much controversy due to their extreme anti-German sentiment. Ehrenburg later clarified that his writings were about "German aggressors who set foot on Soviet soil with weapons", not the whole German people. The novel The Thaw gave its name to an entire era of Soviet politics, namely, the liberalization which occurred after the death of Joseph Stalin. Ehrenburg's travel writing also had great resonance, and to an arguably greater extent, so did his memoir People, Years, Life, which may be his best known and most discussed work. The Black Book, edited by him and Vassily Grossman, has special historical significance, it describes The Holocaust in the Soviet Union, the genocide which was committed against Soviet citizens of Jewish ancestry by the Nazis; It was denounced as "anti-Soviet" and banned from publication. It was first published in Jerusalem in 1980. In addition, Ehrenburg wrote a succession of works of poetry.
Pantheon has 104 people classified as writers born between 1056 and 1982. Of these 104, 9 (8.65%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Svetlana Alexievich, Lina Kostenko, and Vladimir Megre. The most famous deceased writers include Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Joseph Conrad. As of April 2022, 14 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Pavlo Tychyna, Israel Zolli, and Yevhen Hrebinka.
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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.