Born to an Armenian mother and a Jewish father, Sergei Dovlatov (1941-90) grew up in Leningrad. Because of his writings, which he could not publish in Russia, he was persecuted by the authorities, and ultimately forced into exile in the US, where he developed his talent as a comic writer. Since his death in 1990, Dovlatov has become one of the most popular and widely read authors in Russia.
One wishes that he'd lived longer, been published sooner, given us more. -- Francine Prose