Leonov, Leonid Maksimovich (lyāənyētˈ məksyēmˈəvĭch lyāôˈnəf) [key], 1899–1994, Russian novelist and playwright. Leonov was a major figure in the development of psychological and social realism in the novel. His works, such as his first long novel The Badgers (1924, tr. 1925), were strongly influenced by Dostoyevsky in their complex style, psychological insight, and compassion for the downtrodden. His greatest novel, The Thief (1927, tr. 1928), treats the redemption of a former Red Army commissar who had become a bandit. Among Leonov's other novels are Sotj (1931, tr. Soviet River, 1932), Road to the Ocean (1935, tr. 1944), The Taking of Velikoshumsk (1944, tr. Chariot of Wrath, 1946), Russian Forest (1953, tr. 1966), and Sot' (1968).
See E. J. Simmons, Russian Fiction and Soviet Ideology: Introduction to Fedin, Leonov, and Sholokhov (1958); study by N. Rosen (1961).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.