Daniil Granin

Daniil Aleksandrovich Granin (Russian: Дании́л Алекса́ндрович Гра́нин; 1 January 1919[b] – 4 July 2017), original family name German (Russian: Ге́рман),[2] was a Soviet and Russian author.

Daniil Granin
Granin in 2009
Granin in 2009
BornDaniil Aleksandrovich Granin
(1919-01-01)1 January 1919
Volyn, Kursk Governorate, Russian SFSR[a]
Died4 July 2017(2017-07-04) (aged 98)
Saint Petersburg, Russia
OccupationEngineer, soldier, writer
Alma materLeningrad Polytechnical Institute

Life and careerEdit

Granin started writing in the 1930s, while he was still an engineering student at the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute. After graduation, Granin began working as a senior engineer at an energy laboratory, and shortly after war broke out, he volunteered to fight as a soldier.[3]

One of the first widely praised works of Granin was a short story about graduate students titled "Variant vtoroi" (The second variant), which was published in the journal Zvezda in 1949. Granin had continued to study engineering and work as a technical writer before he achieved literary success, thanks to his Iskateli (The Seekers, 1955), a novel inspired by his career in engineering. This book was about the overly bureaucratic Soviet system, which tended to stifle new ideas.[3] Granin served as a board member of the Leningrad Union of Writers, and he was a winner of many medals and honors including the State Prize for Literature in 1978 and Hero of Socialist Labor 1989.[4] He continued writing in the post-Soviet era.[3]


According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia: "The main theme of Granin’s works is the romance and poetry of scientific and technological creativity and the struggle between searching, principled, genuine scientists imbued with the communist ideological context and untalented people, careerists, and bureaucrats (the novels Those Who Seek, 1954, and Into the Storm, 1962)".

In 1979, he published Blokadnaya kniga (translated as A Book of the Blockade), which mainly revolves around the lives of two small children, a 16-year-old boy and an academic during the Siege of Leningrad.[5] Written together with Ales Adamovich, the book is based on the interviews, diaries and personal memoirs of those, who survived the siege during 1941–44.[6] It was nominated for the 2004 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage.[7] On September 8, 2021, the film "The Blockade Diary," based on Granin's "A Book of the Blockade," was presented in Moscow cinemas.[8]

One of his most popular books is The Bison (1987), which tells the story of the Soviet geneticist Nikolay Timofeev-Ressovsky.[5] In October 1993, he signed the Letter of Forty-Two.[9]

Honours and awardsEdit

Granin on a 2019 stamp of Russia


Below is a list of works by Granin translated into English:

  • Those Who Seek (1954)[13]
  • Into the Storm (1962, tr. 1965)[13]
  • The House on the Fontanka (1967, tr. 1970)[13]
  • A Book of the Blockade (1979, tr. 1983)[13]
  • The Bison: A Novel about the Scientist Who Defied Stalin (1987, tr. 1990)[13]


  1. ^ In his early autobiographies Granin wrote that he was born on 1 January 1918 in the "town of Volyn, Kursk Governorate." The town with such name never existed, most probably he meant the selo of Volynka in what is now Rylsky District.
  2. ^ Year of birth mistakenly given in some sources as 1918 because of a misprint in a 1964 literary encyclopedia.[1]


  1. ^ Vyacheslav Ogryzko, Russkie pisateli, sovremennaya epokha (Literaturnaya Rossiaya, 2004) ["Во втором томе «Краткой литературной энциклопедии» (М., 1964) дата рождения ошибочно указана 1 января 1918 года."].
  2. ^ Dictionary of Literary Biography on Daniil Granin. Retrieved 19 February 2011..
  3. ^ a b c "Encyclopedia of Soviet Writers". Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Гранин Даниил Александрович". War Heroes.
  5. ^ a b Anna Sorokina (5 July 2017). "5 must-read novels by Soviet docufiction writer Daniil Granin". Russia Beyond the Headlines. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  6. ^ Daniil Granin, Ales Adamovich (2008). Leningrad Under Siege. Clare Burstall. Pen & Sword Military. ISBN 978-1-84415-458-6.
  7. ^ "Second Press Release 2004". Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage. 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  8. ^ "Фильм Андрея Зайцева "Блокадный дневник" вышел в российский прокат". РИА Новости (in Russian). 8 September 2021. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  9. ^ Писатели требуют от правительства решительных действий. Izvestia (in Russian). 5 October 1993. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Writer Daniil Granin Marks 95th Birthday". Russkiymir. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Dmitry Medvedev awarded Daniil Granin the Order of St Andrew the Apostle". Kremlin. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d "Granin, Daniil Aleksandrovich". Soviet/Lit.net. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Daniil Granin". Goodreads. Retrieved 7 July 2017.

External linksEdit