Vasil Bykov was a Belarus prose writer and playwright. He was born in 1924 in Bychki village in the Vitebsk region.
Bykov’s creative vision centres on the drama and tragedy of war, and is distinguished by the richly expressed thoughts and feelings of his characters, developed in compelling narratives with a thoughtful philosophical subtext.
Vasil Bykov rose to popularity with the publication of his story Third Rocket in 1962. In the 1960s he published The Alpine Ballad and The Dead Don't Feel Pain, and in the 1970s Sotnikov, The Obelisk, Live to See the Dawn and To Go and Not to Return. These works have marked Vasil Bykov as one of the greatest writers about war in the 20th century.
In 1974 Vasil Bykov was awarded the State award of the USSR (for the story Live to See the Dawn, 1973). In 1980 he received the National Writer of Belarus Award and in 1984 was made a Hero of Socialist Labour. In 1986 he got the Lenin Award for the story Sign of Trouble.
Vasil Bykov died on 22 June 2003.