Daniil Granin bigraphy, stories - Russia-Soviet writer and historian

Daniil Granin : biography

January 1, 1919 -

Daniil Alexandrovich Granin (January 1, 1919; born as Daniil Alexandrovich German) is an author born in the former Soviet Union. He started writing in the 1930s when he was still an engineering student at the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute. After completing his graduation Granin began working as a senior engineer at an energy laboratory and soon after the war broke out, he volunteered as a soldier.

One of the first widely praised works of Granin was a short story about graduate students, titled Second Varient. It was published in the journal Zvezda in 1949. Granin continued to study engineering and working as a technical writer until success knocked on the door in the form of Those Who Seek; a novel inspired from his life as an engineer. The book talked about the overly bureaucratic Soviet system which tended to stifle new ideas.

Granin has worked as a board member in the Leningrad Union of Writers and is a winner of many medals and honors including the State Prize for Literature in 1978. The writer continues to write in the post-Soviet Russia.


According to The Great Soviet Encyclopedia: "The main theme of Granin’s works is the romance and poetry of scientific and technological creativity and the struggle between searching, principled, genuine scientists imbued with the communist ideological context and untalented people, careerists, and bureaucrats (the novels Those Who Seek, 1954, and Into the Storm, 1962)."

One of his most popular books is The Bison. The novel was published in 1987 and it tells the story of a Soviet geneticist Nikolay Timofeeff-Ressovsky.

In October 1993, he signed the Letter of Forty-Two.

In 2003, he published Leningrad Under Siege (2003), another popular novel.

Leningrad Under Siege mainly revolves around the lives of two small children, a 16-year-old boy and an old academic during the Siege of Leningrad. Written together with Ales Adamovich, the book is based on interviews, diaries and personal memoirs of those who survived the siege during 1941-44.

The book was nominated for the 2004 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage but couldn't even make it to the seven finalists.


Below is a list of works by Granin:

  • Зубр (The Bison)
  • Иду на грозу (Into the Storm)
  • Месяц вверх ногами
  • Эта странная жизнь
  • Сад Камней
  • Картина (Picture)
  • Неизвестный человек
  • Прекрасная Ута
  • Пленные
  • Клавдия Вилор
  • Наш комбат (Our combat)
  • Ты взвешен на весах
  • Блокадная книга (Leningrad Under Siege)
  • Дом на Фонтанке (The house in Fontanka)
  • Запретная глава
  • Дождь в чужом городе
  • Чужой дневник
  • Еще заметен след (The Track is Still Noticeable)
  • Молодая война (The young war)
  • Искатели (Those Who Seek)

Honours and awards

  • Hero of Socialist Labour (1989)
  • Order of St. Andrew (December 28, 2008) - for outstanding contribution to the development of national literature, many years of creative and social activities
  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd class (1 January 1999) - for services to the state and a major contribution to razvitieotechestvennoy literature
  • Order of Lenin
  • Order of the Red Banner
  • Order of the Red Banner of Labour
  • Order of the Red Star
  • Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class
  • Order of Friendship of Peoples
  • Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany)
  • Honorary citizen of St. Petersburg (2005)
  • Order of Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, 2nd class (Russian Orthodox Church, 2009)
  • Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts
  • Minor planet number 3120 named Granin
  • St. Petersburg International Award for promoting and strengthening humanitarian ties in the Baltic Sea Region "Baltic Star" (diploma, a badge and a monetary prize) (October 2008)
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