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MARK SERGEYEVICH KHARITONOV (born 1937) was born in Zhitomir, attended the Moscow Pedagogical Institute, and worked as a teacher and an editor. Kharitonov’s literary fate came together in a roundabout way. He began to write while still young, but for a long time was not published, and then only as a translator. His story, One Day in February, was published in the journal Novy Mir in 1976 and was immediately popular with readers. Yet there followed a long dry spell – more than 10 years – during which the author wrote intensively “for the drawer.” Kharitonov’s works began to be published during perestroika and in 1992 he received the first-ever Russian Booker Prize, for his novel The Line of Fate, or Milashevich’s Little Trunk, bringing him long-overdue popularity.