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 Boris Zhitkov

Born:   30 August (11 September) 1882
Deceased:   19 October 1938

Russian children's writer


Boris Zhitkov was a popular early 20th century children’s author who wrote about various professions and extreme situations. His enthralling books are based on his rich experience as a sailor, ship captain, scientist, traveler and explorer.

Boris Stepanovich Zhitkov was born on 30 August (11 September) 1882 in Novgorod; his father was a teacher of mathematics and his mother was a pianist. He spent his childhood in Odessa. When studying at a classical school he got friendly with Korney Chukovsky.

After finishing school he studied at the Natural Science Faculty of Novorossiysk University and later at Shipbuilding Department of Petersburg Polytechnic University. Upon graduation he made a career as a sailor and mastered a range of other professions. He was a navigator of a sailing ship, a captain of a research vessel, an ichthyologist, a metal worker, a shipbuilding engineer, a teacher of physics and drafting, a technical college headmaster and a traveler.

In 1924 Boris Zhitkov started to be published and soon became a professional writer.

His extensive life experience and impressive skills in various fields are reflected in the writer’s narrations. Boris Zhitkov wrote about various professions and glorified working people’s virtues such as competence, diligence and sense of responsibility. His love of the sea and overseas countries was his greatest source of inspiration. Zhitkov’s characters often find themselves in extreme situations: the cycles “On Water”, “Above Water”, “Under Water”, “Mechanic Salerno”, etc. He also wrote “Viktor Vavich”, a novel about the revolution of 1905.

Boris Zhitkov died in Moscow on 19 October 1938.


Tags: Russian literature Russian writers    

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