Pilnyak, Boris (bərēsˈ pēlnyäkˈ) [key], pseud. of Boris Andreyevich Vogau əndrāˈyəvĭch vôˈgou, 1894–1937?, Russian novelist and short-story writer. Pilnyak first attracted wide attention with his novel The Naked Year (1921, tr. 1928), a loosely constructed work concerning the social chaos following the Revolution of 1917. He accepted the revolution itself, but did not embrace orthodox Communism. His short novel Mahogany, denied publication in the USSR, was first published in Berlin in 1929. Later Pilnyak utilized some of its material in his novel about the Five-Year Plan, The Volga Falls to the Caspian Sea (1930, tr. 1931). Both were severely criticized by the Soviet regime as bourgeois. In 1931, Pilnyak visited the United States and attacked American industrialization in O'Kei (1932). Some of his short stories have been translated in Tales of the Wilderness (1925) and Mother Earth and Other Stories (1968). He disappeared in 1937, and is thought to have been arrested and executed.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.