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SERGEI DOVLATOV (1941-1990) was born in Ufa, during his family's evacuation there during WWII. He grew up in St. Petersburg and, while in the army, served as a prison guard. From this sprang his famous novel, The Zone. His work was censored from publication in the Soviet Union and he emigrated in 1979. He finally achieved fame in the 1980s, when some of his stories were published in The New Yorker.