Aleksandr Pavlovich Chudakov was born in 1938 to a family of teachers in the city of Shchuchensk in Soviet Northern Kazakhstan. In 1960 he graduated with a degree in philology from Moscow State University, where he went on to defend his candidate's and doctoral dissertations. He has taught Russian literature at Moscow State University since 1969. Since 1964 he has been on the faculty of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of World Literature. Since 1988 he has taught as a visiting professor at universities in Hamburg, Michigan, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Cologne. His first publications were in the leading "thick" journal of culture and politics, Novy mir, during the editorship of Aleksandr Tvardovsky. He has published over two hundred articles on classical Russian authors of the nineteenth century and the history of Russian philology. He is the author of widely admired memoirs of such leading Russian literary scholars as Viktor Shklovsky, Viktor Vinogradov, and Lidia Ginzburg, as well as five books: Poetika Chekhova (Moscow, 1971; translated as Chekhov's Poetics [Ann Arbor: Ardis Press, 1983]); Mir Chekhova: Vozniknovenie i utverzhdenie [Chekhov's World: Origins and Affirmation] (Moscow, 1986); Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: Biografiia pisatelia [Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: A Writer's Life] (Moscow, 1987); Chekhov v Taganroge [Chekhov in Taganrog] (Moscow, 1987); and Slovo-Veshch'-Mir: Ot Pushkina do Tolstogo [The Word-The Thing- The World: From Pushkin to Tolstoy] (Moscow, 1992). His memoiristic novel Lozhitsia mgla na starye stupeni [A Gloom Is Cast Upon the Ancient Steps], which La Pensée Russe called "the major literary event of 2000," was short listed for the 2001 Russian Booker Prize and awarded the 2000 Znamya Magazine Prize for a Work of Literature Affirming Liberal Values. His extensive nonfictional memoirs of famous 20th-century Russian philologists are also admired on strictly literary grounds. Chudakov is married to the literary historian, theoretician, and outspoken social critic Marietta Omarovna Chudakova, a leading authority on Bulgakov, Zoshchenko, Olesha, Tynyanov, Sholokhov and many other figures of twentieth-century Russian literature. Chudakov died of complications from accidental injuries on October 3, 2005, in Moscow.