Russian literature for children and young people has a history that goes back over 400 years, starting in the late sixteenth century with the earliest alphabet primers and passing through many different phases over the centuries that followed. It has its own success stories and tragedies, talented writers and mediocrities, bestsellers and long-forgotten prize winners. After their seizure of power in 1917, the Bolsheviks set about creating a new culture for a new man and a starting point was children's literature. 70 years of Soviet control and censorship were succeeded in the 1990s by a re-birth of Russian children's literature. This book charts the whole of this story, setting Russian authors and their books in the context of translated literature, critical debates and official cultural policy.
Ben Hellman, Ph.D., University of Helsinki, is a Senior Lecturer in the field of Russian literature. He specializes in Russian children's literature, Russian literature of the early 20th century and Finnish-Russian cultural relations. His numerous publications include Poets of Hope and Despair: The Russian Symbolists in War and Revolution (1914-1918) (Helsinki, 1995) and Meetings and Clashes: Articles on Russian Literature (Helsinki, 2009).
All those interested in children's literature, the history of Russian literature and the history of Russia and the Soviet Union.