Soviet humanist writer Fazil Iskander dead at 87

Soviet writer Fazil Iskander, whose works are known for their humourous descriptions of daily life in the Caucasus and satirical take on society under Communism, died on Sunday. He was 87. A rare Russian author who flaunted his ethnic and provincial origins, Iskander breached political taboos with descriptions of Stalin's drunken feasts in his native Abkhazia although he never considered himself a dissident. Born in 1929 to an Abkhaz mother and Iranian father in the the port of Sukhumi, the main city of Abkhazia -- now a separatist region of Georgia that Russia supports -- Iskander lost his father early when he was deported to Iran in 1938, where he subsequently died. A top student, Iskander managed to get accepted into the prestigious Gorky literary institute in Moscow and worked as a provincial journalist early in his career. He wrote only in Russian, winning

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