Acclaimed author Boris Pasternak is thought by many to have been the greatest Russian writer and poet of the century. He was born in Moscow to successful parents. In 1914 he published his first collection of poems, A Twin in the Clouds.
Pasternak remained completely apolitical and, until the early 1930's, was able to publish unhindered. He then had a falling out with Stalin and was subsequently not permitted to publish. He kept occupied by translating Shakespeare and other work into Russian.
In 1957, the manuscript for the novel Doctor Zhivago was smuggled out to Italy. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature soon after, but was forced to publicly denounce it. Doctor Zhivago was finally published in Russia in 1987, 27 years after Pasternak's death.