photo credits: CC-BY-SA-3.0
country of citizenship: Soviet Union
award received: Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945", Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class, Order of the Red Banner of Labour, Order of Friendship of Peoples, Medal "For the Defence of Leningrad", Medal "For the Defence of the Soviet Transarctic", Medal "For the Capture of Königsberg"
Valentin Savvich Pikul (Russian: Валенти́н Са́ввич Пи́куль) (July 13, 1928 – July 16, 1990) was a popular and prolific Soviet historical novelist of Ukrainian-Russian heritage. He lived and worked in Riga.
Pikul's novels were grounded in extensive research, blending historical and fictional characters and often focusing on Russian nationalistic themes. Pikul's best-selling 1978 novel At the Last Frontier was a dramatized telling of Rasputin's influence over the Russian imperial court. Richard Stites says he was "a name hardly known to literary scholars but the most widely read author in the Soviet Union from the seventies to today [i.e., 1991]... Pikul's works were wildly popular: more than 20 million copies were sold in his lifetime .
Little of Pikul's work has been translated into English. In May 2001 a seagoing minesweeper of the Black Sea Fleet was named in his honor.
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