Boris Pasternak was born in Moscow in 1890 and after briefly training as a composer resolved to be a writer. He published a large number of collections of poetry, written under the burden of Soviet Russia's stringent censorship, before publishing his most famous work, Dr Zhivago, in 1958. This novel won him the Nobel Prize for Literature but the USSR's hostility to the West meant he was forced to turn it down. He died in 1960.
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