Mikhail Bulgakov, "The Fatal Eggs"
Mikhail Afanas'evich Bulgakov (1891-1940) was born in Kiev. He trained and practiced as a doctor, but in 1920 he decided to quit and become a writer. He is best known for his plays ("Days of the Turbins," "Zoyka's Apartment," "The Crimson Island," "Molière," and others) and his novel The Master and Margarita (left not quite finished when he died), but he wrote some shorter fiction as well. "The Fatal Eggs," written in 1924, was published in the collection Diavoliada ('The Diaboliad') in Moscow in 1925 and fairly enthusiastically received. Bulgakov was skeptical of the Bolshevik revolution, and as a result he experienced all kinds of unpleasant censorship - indeed, by 1927 (a year before most of the action in "Fatal Eggs" takes place!) Bulgakov's prose was banned, and he never published any more prose in his lifetime. His success as a dramatic author lasted a bit longer, but Stalin did not let him emigrate when he asked to in 1930. Bulgakov's third wife preserved his archive after his death from nephrosclerosis, and when The Master and Margarita was finally published in the 1960s - in a censored edition! - it was a big surprise for readers everywhere. more... »