Sergei Dovlatov: Google doodle on Russian journalist & author’s 80th birthday
- Russian Federation
Happy Birthday Sergei Dovlatov!
Google dedicates a doodle to celebrate the 80th birthday of Russian journalist and author Sergei Dovlatov. Both at home and abroad, Dovlatov captured the contemporary experience of Soviet citizens and dissidents in his masterful yet irreverent writing—regarded among the most influential and widely read Russian literature of the late 20th-century.
Sergei Dovlatov was born on September 3, 1941, in Ufa, the Republic of Bashkiria within the Russian SFSR in the Soviet Union, where his family had been evacuated at the beginning of World War II from Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and lived with a collaborator of The People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) for three years. His mother, Nora Dovlatova, was Armenian and worked as a proofreader, and his father, Donat Mechik was Jewish and a theater director.
He made his early living as a journalist and wrote fictional short stories that reflected the minutiae of daily Soviet life. Due to government censorship, his prose was first published in the late 1970s via samizdat, an underground publication network.
Sergei Dovlatov emigrated to New York City in 1979, carrying a lone suitcase with the hope of literary freedom. He soon established himself in U.S. writing circles as the co-editor of "The New American," a successful émigré newspaper.
His first short stories were published in 1980 by "The New Yorker" which introduced a mass readership to Dovlatov's trademark brand of Russian humor. He got a huge success and then he wrote a new book almost annually. This body of work includes "The Suitcase," referenced in the Doodle artwork. This beloved 1986 collection of witty autobiographical short stories was inspired by the contents of the suitcase he carried with him to the U.S.
Although his work wasn't published in his home country until 1989, Dovlatov is a household name in Russia today. His legacy is concretized on Sergei Dovlatov Way, a New York City street corner where Dovlatov penned many of his most famous works.