Alexander Belyayev (1884 - 1942)


Alexander Romanovich Belyayev was born on March (4) 16, 1884 into the family of a priest in Smolensk. In 1901 he graduated from the Smolensk Theological Seminary. But he didn't want to become a priest and that is why entered the Demidov Lyceum in Yaroslavl. After the death of his father he had to make his living by drawing, playing the violin and teaching private classes.
Having graduated from the lyceum, he became quite a good lawyer and his clientele was gradually growing. He was quite a success, and often travelled abroad. However, in 1914 he decided to quit everything and dedicate himself to writing.
At the age of 35 he became seriously ill with backbone tuberculosis and was bedridden for six years. Fortunately, the writer managed to recover and return to high-grade life.
At first he lived in Yalta and worked as a tutor, and an inspector of criminal investigation department, and then moved to Moscow and again went in for law, but continued writing at the same time. In the 1920s he wrote such well-known novels as The Island of Crushed Ships and The Amphibian Man.
In 1928 he moved again, this time to Leningrad, and then totally plunged into literary activity. Interested in mental functioning problems, he wrote the novels Professor Dowell's Head, The Lord of the World, The Man Who Lost His Face.
Alexander Belyayev has written more than twenty stories and novels, several dozens of short stories, a number of essays, sketches, reviews, critiques, plays, and articles.
When World War Two started, the writer refused to be evacuated from the blockaded city of Leningrad. On January 6, 1942 Alexander Belyayev died. The location of his grave remains unknown.

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