ELKOST Intl. literary agency handles world rights (except Russia) in Yuri Olesha literary estate
Yuri Olesha (1899-1960), was a Russian and Soviet novelist and playwright. He is considered one of the greatest Russian novelists of the 20th century, one of the few to have succeeded in writing works of lasting artistic value despite the stifling censorship of the era.
His works are delicate balancing acts that superficially send pro-Communist messages but reveal far greater subtlety and richness upon a deeper reading. Sometimes, he is grouped with his friends Ilf and Petrov, Isaac Babel, and Sigismund Krzhizhanovsky into the Odessa School of Writers.
Olesha gained renown first as a poet. His fame as a prose writer came after the publication of his novel Zavist (Envy, serialized 1927, published in book form 1928;). Olesha’s second widely popular book, Tri tolstyaka (The Three Fat Men, 1928), was written for both children and adults.
By the late 1920s and early 1930s, Olesha had published a series of short stories and plays, among which the play Spisok blagodeyaniy (A List of Benefits, 1931) was staged by the director Vsevolod Meyerhold. Olesha’s openly lyrical speech in 1934 at the First All-Union Congress of the Writers’ Union of the U.S.S.R. further bolstered his fame. After this, however, he published very little, although he often wrote for the cinema.
For many years he worked on what was published posthumously as Ni dnya bez strochki (No Day Without a Line, 1965).
Olesha’s stories are supreme and timeless cinema. To read his triumphant short novel Envy is to see it, to find the pages transformed into a screen on which to behold man’s heroic confrontation with the monsters of his own creation…
Every page of Olesha demands to be read and seen again. — The New York Times