Ball point pen on the morning newsprint
At the age of five, both his parents were imprisoned in Soviet forced labor camps, He was taken from his grandmother and raised in an orphanage as the son of an enemy of the people. From that nightmarish beginning, he went on to earn a medical degree from Leningrad Medical University. He worked as a doctor while he pursued his interest in writing. He wrote of jazz and fashion instead of the misery of the Gulag, publishing more than twenty novels. Aksyonov was seen as a leader of young Soviets who were anti-totalitarian, pro-western and resisted the Communist Party's cultural and ideological restrictions. He was branded as Anti Soviet in 1980 after "The Burn" was published in Italy and forced into exile. Aksyonov lived in the United States for more than two decades, teaching at George Mason University. In 1990 he was reinstated as a Soviet citizen and has lived in Moscow with his wife until he passed away on Monday. He was 76.