Greatest Literature banner

The 166 Greatest Works of Russian Literature

The selection of literature from specific countries or regions is based on the continuing research carried out for our flagship list, The Greatest Literature of All Time, and all our other Greatest lists. It is also informed by the additional literary assessments of local readers, writers, critics and scholars.

On this list are literary works of all types, genres, cultures and periods by authors primarily associated with Russia.

This list focuses on major creative works—such as novels, plays, epic poetry and story collections—although some shorter or nonfiction writing of literary significance may also be included.

Latest update: February 17, 2024

1672
The Life Written by Himself
Avvakum
Russia, Autobiography
1792
Poor Liza
Nikolai Karamzin
Russia, novella
1820
Ruslan and Ludmila
Alexander Pushkin
Russia, poem
1824
The Fountain of Bakhchisaray
Alexander Pushkin
Russia, poem
1825
Woe From Wit
Alexander Griboyedov
Russia, play
 
Boris Godunov
Alexander Pushkin
Russia, poem
1825–1832
Eugene Onegin
Alexander Pushkin
Russia, poem
1830
The Tales of Belkin
Alexander Pushkin
Russia, story collection
1836
The Captain's Daughter
Alexander Pushkin
Russia, novel
1837
The Bronze Horseman
Alexander Pushkin
Russia, poem
1840
A Hero of Our Time
Mikhail Lermontov
Russia, novel
1842
The Demon
Mikhail Lermontov
Russia, poem
1847
Who Is to Blame?
Alexander Herzen
Russia, novel
1852
Childhood
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novella
 
A Sportsman's Sketches
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, story collection
1855–1963
Russian Folk Tales
Alexander Afanasiev
Russia, story collection
1859
Oblomov
Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov
Russia, novel
 
Home of the Gentry
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, novel
1860
The Storm
Alexander Ostrovsky
Russia, play
 
First Love
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, novella
1862
Fathers and Sons
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, novel
1864
Notes From Underground
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russia, novella
 
Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
Nikolai Leskov
Russia, novel
1865–1869
missing graphic
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novel
1866
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russia, novel
 
The Gambler
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russia, novella
1870
The History of a Town
Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin
Russia, novel
 
King Lear of the Steppes
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, novella
1871
The Forest
Alexander Ostrovsky
Russia, play
1872
Demons
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russia, novel
 
Torrents of Spring
Ivan Turgenev
Russia, novel
1873
The Enchanted Wanderer
Nikolai Leskov
Russia, novella
1874
The Idiot
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russia, novel
 
Who Can Be Happy and Free in Russia?
Nikolai Nekrasov
Russia, poem
 
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novel
1878
Without a Dowry
Alexander Ostrovsky
Russia, play
1880
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russia, novel
 
The Golovlyov Family
Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin
Russia, novel
1881
Lefty
Nikolai Leskov
Russia, novel
1886
Motley Stories
Anton Chekhov
Russia, story collection
Includes The Huntsman, and others
 
"Vanka"
Anton Chekhov
Russia, story
 
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novella
1887
At Dusk
Anton Chekhov
Russia, story collection
Includes Dreams, A Trivial Occurrence, A Bad Business, At Home, A Restless Guest, On the Road, Agafya, and others
1889
The Kreutzer Sonata
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novella
1891
The Duel
Anton Chekhov
Russia, novella
1896
The Seagull
Anton Chekhov
Russia, play
 
Beyond the Earth
Konstantin Tsiolkovskiy
Russia, novel
1899
"The Lady With the Dog"
Anton Chekhov
Russia, story
1900
Uncle Vanya
Anton Chekhov
Russia, play
1901
Three Sisters
Anton Chekhov
Russia, play
 
Resurrection
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novel
1902
The Lower Depths
Maxim Gorky
Russia, play
 
The Power of Darkness
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, play
1903
The Cherry Orchard
Anton Chekhov
Russia, play
1905
Summerfolk
Maxim Gorky
Russia, play
1907
Mother
Maxim Gorky
Russia, novel
1908
The Seven Who Were Hanged
Leonid Andreyev
Russia, novel
1912
Hadji Murat
Leo Tolstoy
Russia, novella
1913
Petersburg
Andrei Bely
Russia, novel
 
My Childhood
Maxim Gorky
Russia, memoir
1915
A Cloud in Trousers
Vladimir Mayakovsky
Russia, poem
1918
The Twelve
Alexasnder Blok
Russia, poem
 
Memoirs of a Revolutionist
Vera Figner
Russia, memoir
1923
Chapayev
Dmitry Furmanov
Russia, novel
1924
The White Guard
Mikhail Bulgakov
Russia, novella
 
Cities and Years
Konstantin Fedin
Russia, novel
 
The Three Fat Men
Yuri Olesha
Russia, novel
 
The Iron Flood
Alexander Serafimovich
Russia, novel
1925
Heart of a Dog
Mikhail Bulgakov
Russia, novella
 
Mitya's Love
Ivan Bunin
Russia, novel
 
The Artomonov Business
Maxim Gorky
Russia, novel
 
We
Yevgeny Zamyatin
Russia, novel
1927
Sunset
Isaac Babel
Russia, play
 
The Twelve Chairs
Ilya Ilf, Evgeny Petrov
Russia, novel
 
Envy
Yuri Olesha
Russia, novel
1928
Chevengur
Andrei Platonov
Russia, novel
 
And Quiet Flows the Don
Mikhail Sholokov
Russia, novel
1929
The Bedbug
Vladimir Mayakovsky
Russia, play
1929–1943
Peter the Great
Alexy Tolstoy
Russia, novel
1930
The Life of Arseniev: Youth
Ivan Bunin
Russia, novel
 
The Foundation Pit
Andrei Platonov
Russia, novel
1931
Odessa Stories
Isaac Babel
Russia, story collection
 
The Little Golden Calf
Ilya Ilf, Evgeny Petrov
Russia, novel
1935
Soul
Andrei Platonov
Russia, novella
1935
Virgin Soil Upturned
Mikhail Sholokov
Russia, novel
 
Invitation to a Beheading
Vladimir Nabokov
Russia, novel
1937–1945
Stories about Lelya and Minka
Mikhail Zoshchenko
Russia, story collection
1938
The Gift
Vladimir Nabokov
Russia, novel
1939
The Old Woman
Danill Kharms
Russia, novella
1940
The on Flows Home to the Sea
Mikhail Sholokov
Russia, novel
1941
The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
Vladimir Nabokov
Russia, novel
1943
The Fifth Seal
Mark Aldanov
Russia, novel
1943–1973
Before Sunrise
Mikhail Zoshchenko
Russia, novel
1944
Red Cavalry
Isaac Babel
Russia, novel
 
Son of the Regiment
Valentin Kataev
Russia, novel
 
The Two Captains
Veniamin Kaverin
Russia, novel
1946
Dark Avenues
Ivan Bunin
Russia, story collection
 
The Young Guard
Alexander Fadeyev
Russia, novel
1950
Nervous People and Other Satires
Mikhail Zoshchenko
Russia, story collection
1955
Collected Stories
Isaac Babel
Russia, story collection
 
missing graphic
Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov
Russia, novel
1957
Pnin
Vladimir Nabokov
Russia, novel
 
Doctor Zhivago
Boris Pasternak
Russia, novel
 
Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale
Ivan Yefremov
Russia, novel
1962
Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov
Russia, novel
 
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Russia, novella
1963
Requiem
Anna Akhmatova
Russia, poetry collection
1964
Antiworlds
Andrey Voznesensky
Russia, poetry collection
1965
Sofia Petrovna
Lydia Chukovskaya
Russia, novel
1965–2003
Alisa's Adventures
Kir Bulychev
Russia, Novel and story cycle
1967
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov
Russia, novel
 
The ase of Comrade Tulayev
Victor Serge
Russia, novel
1968
Cancer Ward
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Russia, novel
 
The First Circle
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Russia, novel
1969
Ada or Ardor
Vladimir Nabokov
Russia, novel
 
The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin
Vladimir Voinovich
Russia, novel
1970
A Dream in Polar Fog
Yuri Rytkheu
Russia, novel
1971
August 1914
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Russia, novel
1972
Roadside Picnic
Arkady and Boris Strugatski
Russia, novel
1973
The Gulag Archipelago
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Russia, nonfiction
 
Moscow-Petushki
Venedikt Yerofeyev
Russia, Prose poem
1975
The Burn
Vassily Aksyonov
Russia, novel
1976
A School for Fools
Sasha Sokolov
Russia, novel
 
Yawning Heights
Alexander Zinoviev
Russia, novel
1977
A Part of Speech
Joseph Brodsky
Russia, poetry collection
 
What Is to Be Done?
Nikolay Chernyshevsky
Russia, novel
1978
Pushkin House
Andrei Bitov
Russia, novel
 
The Faculty of Useless Knowledge
Yury Dombrovsky
Russia, novel
 
Kolyma Tales
Varlam Shalamov
Russia, story collection
1979
It's Me, Eddie
Eduard Limonov
Russia, novel
1981
Compromise
Sergei Dovlatov
Russia, novel
1982
Rabbits and Boa Constrictors
Fazil Iskander
Russia, novel
 
Summer in Baden-Baden
Leonard Tsypkin
Russia, biography
1986
The Suitcase
Sergei Dovlatov
Russia, story collection
1990
Russian Beauty
Victor Yerofeyev
Russia, novel
1992
Lines of Fate
Mark Kharitonov
Russia, novel
 
The Time: Night
Ludmila Petrushevskaya
Russia, novella
 
Sldeepwalker in a Fog
Tatyana Tolstaya
Russia, story collection
1993
The Life of Insects
Victor Pelevin
Russia, novel
1996
Chapayev and Pustota
Victor Pelevin
Russia, novel
 
Medea and Her Children
Lyudmila Ulitskaya
Russia, novel
1998
The Slynx
Tatyana Tolstaya
Russia, novel
1998–2018
The Fandorin series
Boris Akunin
Russia, novel series
Includes The Winter Queen, The Turkish Gambit, Murder on the Leviathan, The Death of Achilles, and others
1999
The Taking of Izmail
Mikhail Shishkin
Russia, novel
2000
Hurramabad
Andrei Volos
Russia, novel
2005
Metro 2033
Dmitry Glukhovsky
Russia, novel
 
The Gold of the Rebellion
Alexey Ivanov
Russia, novel
2006
2017
Olga Slavnikova
Russia, novel
 
Day of the Oprichnik
Vladimir Sorokin
Russia, novel
 
Daniel Stein, Interpreter
Lyudmila Ulitskaya
Russia, novel
2008
Cranes abd Dwarfsa
Leonid Yuzefovich
Russia, novel
2009
The Gray House
Miriam Petrosyan
Russia, novel
 
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby
Ludmila Petrushevskaya
Russia, story collection
2010
The Light and the Dark
Mikhail Shishkin
Russia, novel
2011
The Big Green Tent
Lyudmila Ulitskaya
Russia, novel
2012
The Mountain and the Wall
Alisa Ganieva
Russia, novel
 
The Women of Lazarus
Marina Stepnova
Russia, novel
 
Laurus
Eugene Vodolazkin
Russia, novel
2014
The Monastery
Zakhar Prilepin
Russia, novel
2015
Three Apples Fell From the Sky
Narine Abgaryan
Russia, novel
 
Bride and Groom
Alisa Ganieva
Russia, novel
 
Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes
Guzel Yakhina
Russia, novel
2016
The Petrovs in and Around the Flat
Alexey Salnikov
Russia, novel
2017
June
Dmitry Bykov
Russia, novel
2019
Rock, Paper, Scissors: And Other Stories
Maxim Osipov
Russia, story collection
2021
Doctor Garin
Vladimir Sorokin
Russia, novel

Back to top of page