Gaito Gazdanov

Gaito Gazdanov (Russian: Гайто Газданов; Ossetian: Гæздæнты Бæппийы фырт Гайто) (1903–1971) was a Russian émigré writer of Ossetian extraction. He was born in Saint Petersburg but was brought up in Siberia and Ukraine, where his father worked as a forester. He took part in the Russian Civil War on the side of Wrangel's White Army. In 1920 he left Russia and settled in Paris, where he was employed in the Renault factories. Gazdanov's first novel — An Evening with Claire (1930) — won accolades from Maxim Gorky and Vladislav Khodasevich, who noted his indebtedness to Marcel Proust. On the strength of his first short stories, Gazdanov was decried by critics as one of the most gifted writers to begin his career in emigration. Gazdanov's mature work was produced after World War II. His mastery of criminal plots and understanding of psychological detail are in full evidence in his two most popular novels, The Specter of Alexander Wolf and The Return of the Buddha, whose English translations appeared in 1950 and 1951. The writer "excels in creating characters and plots in which cynicism and despair remain in precarious yet convincing balance with a courageous acceptance of life and even a certain joie de vivre." In 1953, Gazdanov joined the Radio Liberty, where he hosted a program about Russian literature until his death.
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