Konstantin Fedin, 85, one of the most prominent of Soviet authors, whose work won both admiration abroad and honor at home, died Friday after a long illness, according to Tass, the official Soviet news agency.
Official obituaries described Mr. Fedin as an "outstanding" writer who was "one of the founders and creators" of Soviet literature.
A holder of the Stalin Prize who was named a hero of Socialist labor, Mr. Fedin was a deputy to the Supreme Soviet and a long-time head of the Soviet Writers Union.
It aslo one of his distinctions that while living under a system not known for fostering artistic freedom, he succeded in creating works of widely recognized artistic merit.
His early work, which included "Cities and years," a 1924 novels of the romantic Revolution, showed a lyrical, romantic touch, and was often experimental in style.
It also indicated a certain nostalgia for the pre-revolutionary period and a degree of doubt about the revolution on the part of intellectuals.
Mr. Fedin belonged in the 1920s to a literary circle that was impatient with demands that writers choose only contemporary social themes. Much of his early work was the target of heated critism.
In time, however, in a process viewed by some Western observers as a reconciliation with the inevitable Mr. Fedin moved toward a position more consistent with official doctrine and the school of Socialist Realism.
While evincing the optimism about Soviet life that characterized members of this officially approved school. Mr. Fedin avoided the sentimentalism and woodenly simplistic psychology that plagued the work of many of them.
Three realistic novels published after World War 11 - "First Joys," "An Unusual Summer" and "The Bonfire," - are considered among Mr. Fedin's best work.
Panoramic in scope, the novels, which have been translated into EngKiril Izvekov, from the beginning of the 20th century through the war years.
Highly regarded in official circles in the Soviet Union, the works were also well received in the West, where critics praised their vitality and vividness.
Mr. Fedin was born in 1892 in Saratov, in the Volga region where his father was a merchant. Although he reputedly ran away from school as a teen-ager to become an actor, his father pointed him toward a career in business.
While enrolled at the Moscow Commercial Institute in 1913, Mr. Fedin began publishing his first short stories. The outbreak of World War 1 found him in Germany, where he was interned for the duration.
Returning to Russia after the Revolution, he was drafted into the Red Army, and Became an editor on an Army newspaper. In 1920 he met Maxim Gorky, who had a major influence on his literary development. In 1921 Mr. Fedin began a full time career as a writer.