Mikhail Bulgakov was born in Kyiv, Russian Empire (today Ukraine) on May 15 1891. Beginning his adult life as a doctor, Bulgakov gave up medicine for writing. His first major work was the novel Belaya gvardiya (The White Guard), serialized in 1925 but never published in book form. A realistic and sympathetic portrayal of the motives and behaviour of a group of anti-Bolshevik White officers during the civil war, it was met by a storm of official criticism for its lack of a communist hero. Bulgakov reworked it into a play, Dni Turbinykh (“The Days of the Turbins”), which was staged with great success in 1926 but was subsequently banned. In 1925 he published a book of satirical fantasies, Dyavoliada (“Deviltries”; Diaboliad), implicitly critical of Soviet communist society. This work, too, was officially denounced. In the same year he wrote Sobachye serdtse (Heart of a Dog), a scathing comic satire on pseudoscience.later works treat the subject of the artist and the tyrant under the guise of historical characters, with plays such as Molière, staged in 1936, Don Quixote, staged in 1940, and Pushkin, staged in 1943. He also wrote a brilliant biography, highly original in form, of his literary hero, Molière, but The Master and Margarita, a fantasy novel about the devil and his henchmen set in modern Moscow, is generally considered his masterpiece. Fame, at home and abroad, was not to come until a quarter of a century after his death in Moscow in 1940.
Bulgakov had six brothers and sisters. All of them chose for themselves different professions – from a biologist to a musician-balalaika, but no one else had talent for literature.
Bulgakov graduated with honors from the medical faculty of Kiev University and filed a report on his appointment as a doctor to the fleet, but did not pass the medical examination because of renal failure.
Since 1917, when he worked as a doctor near the front line, Bulgakov acquired an addiction to the use of morphine.
The prototype of the professor from the novel “The Heart of a Dog” was the writer’s uncle, who had successful gynecological practice in Moscow.
Bulgakov collected tickets for concerts and performances, which he happened to visit.
Mikhail Bulgakov had three wives, but none of the marriages had a single child.