Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov in the first years of his life bore a different surname - Kuznetsov. The fact is that his mother Anastasia Danilovna was the wife of Stefan Kuznetsov, but the marriage could not be called happy, she left her husband and gave birth to a son from her lover, Alexander Sholokhov. At the same time, the child was registered with the legal husband of Anastasia. In 1912, when Mikhail was seven years old, Stefan Kuznetsov died, the boy's parents were able to get married and give their son the name Sholokhov.
Sholokhov's paternal pedigree has Ryazan roots. The writer's ancestors moved to the Don in the middle of the 19th century. Sholokhov's father, Alexander Mikhailovich, changed many occupations - he was a reseller of livestock, a farmer on leased land, a mill manager. For some time the Sholokhovs even lived in Moscow, where Mikhail studied at the gymnasium.
Young Mikhail Sholokhov was a participant in the Civil War, and at the age of 15 he was captured by Nestor Makhno. There are several versions of how he managed to avoid death. According to one of them, Makhno simply released the teenager, promising to shoot him next time. But, according to other sources, Mikhail still had to suffer, he was flogged with a whip, and only then was released.
At the age of seventeen, Mikhail once again miraculously managed to avoid death. He was a village tax inspector and was put on trial for abuse of power. The verdict was harsh - execution. He was saved by his father, who was able to get a fake metric, lowering the real age of his son by two years. The shooting was replaced by a juvenile colony, but somehow Sholokhov managed to avoid being sent to a correctional institution and he urgently left for Moscow.
In Moscow, he tried to enter the workers' faculty, but failed due to lack of work experience and recommendations from the Komsomol. I had to interrupt myself with odd jobs, but it was at this time that Sholokhov was able to publish his first feuilletons in the newspaper Yunosheskaya Pravda.
In 1923 Sholokhov returned back to the Don and got married. Moreover, a curious story happened with his marriage. He decided to marry the daughter of the former village chieftain Peter of Gromoslavsky, Lydia. But Gromoslavsky himself strongly recommended that the young man marry another daughter, Maria. Despite such an unexpected turn, the marriage turned out to be strong, the couple lived together for 60 years, four children were born in the Sholokhov family. The marriage was registered at the registry office, in addition, the young were married in the village of Bukanovskaya in the Intercession Church. Mikhail was expelled from the Komsomol for this.
Soon after the wedding, Mikhail Sholokhov began work on his main literary work - "Quiet Don". The novel brought Sholokhov not only worldwide fame, but also many problems. Almost immediately after the release of The Quiet Don, some critics began to argue that an aspiring writer could not be the author of such a grandiose literary work. Skeptics recalled that the "classic" of literature was able to complete only four classes.
It was believed that the novel was written by the Don Cossack Fyodor Kryukov, the manuscript was stolen by Sholokhov's father-in-law Pyotr Gromoslavsky, who then handed it over to his son-in-law.
The controversy did not subside for many years, and in 1984 Sholokhov's authorship was investigated using a computer. The Norwegian Geir Hietso, who conducted the research, said that he had no doubts that it was Sholokhov who wrote The Quiet Don.
During the Great Patriotic War, Mikhail Sholokhov was a war correspondent for the newspapers Pravda and Krasnaya Zvezda. In 1942 he begins to work on the novel They Fought for the Motherland. At the same time, Anastasia Danilovna Sholokhova, the writer's mother, died during the bombing in the village of Veshenskaya.
During the same bombing, the manuscript of the second book of the novel "Virgin Soil Upturned" was burned down, the work on which he finished just before the war. Sholokhov returned to this work only a few years later, and the second part was published only in 1959. A year later, Sholokhov was awarded the Lenin Prize for this work. The writer donated the money received for the construction of a new school in the village of Karginskaya.
In 1965, Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Unlike Pasternak, who was forced to refuse the prize by the decision of the Soviet government, no obstacles were put to Sholokhov, on the contrary, he was able to calmly leave for Stockholm for the award ceremony.
Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov died at the age of 78 - February 21, 1984 from laryngeal cancer. He was buried in the village of Veshenskaya, where the writer spent most of his life, and where his most famous literary works were created. The writer was buried not in the cemetery, but in the courtyard of his own house. The gray granite monument has a laconic inscription - "Sholokhov". The monument by sculptor O. Komov was installed in 1986.