Born: 11 November 1821
Died: 28 January 1881
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Best known as: The author of Crime and Punishment
Name at birth: Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
Fedor Dostoevksy (also spelled Fydor, Fyodor or Feodor Dostoyevsky) is the 19th century Russian author who wrote the classic novels Crime and Punishment (1866) and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). Fedor Dostoevsky turned to writing as a profession after a brief military career, publishing his first novel, Poor Folk in 1846. Poor Folk was a success, but in 1849 Dostoevsky was arrested for his participation in an allegedly subversive literary/political group and sentenced to prison. Although he narrowly escaped execution, Dostoevsky spent nearly ten years isolated in Siberia (four of them in prison) before returning to St. Petersburg. There he began writing again, and his books Crime and Punishment (first published as a magazine serial in 1866) and The Gambler (1867) brought him fame and fortune. (Though he then squandered much of the fortune through relentless gambling.) His novels explored the psychology and moral obligations of modern man, and he is famous for creating the "underground hero," a protagonist alienated from society and in search of redemption. Fedor Dostoevsky remains one of Russia's greatest authors and was a strong influence on 20th century literature. His other works include House of the Dead (1862), Notes From The Underground (1864) and The Idiot (1868).
Extra credit: Fedor Dostoevsky was born 30 October 1821 according to the Julian Calendar, 11 November 1821 in the Gregorian calendar.
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