Janka Bryl: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

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Janka Bryl: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life
Janka Bryl: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

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Janka Bryl is the last Belarusian writer to be recognized in the Soviet Union. He was the last to be awarded the title of People's Writer of the BSSR in 1981. Our contemporaries are also well acquainted with his work, because Bryl's stories really deserve attention.

Janka Bryl: biography, creativity, career, personal life
Janka Bryl: biography, creativity, career, personal life


Yanka Bryl (Ivan Antonovich Bryl) was born in 1917 on July 22 (according to the new style on August 4), in the city of Odessa in the family of a railway worker. In 1922, the boy's parents decided to return to their native places - to Western Belarus (then it belonged to Poland), to the village of Zagora (Zagorje), located in the Korelichi district of the Grodno region.

After graduating from the Polish seven-year school in 1931, Janka entered a gymnasium, but soon he had to leave this educational institution, as his parents were unable to pay the tuition fees. The young man did not give up and began to educate himself.

The family situation became more complicated due to the untimely death of his father, and at the age of 14 Bryl had to become the main breadwinner. Since 1938, he began to publish in the magazine "Shlyakh moladzі" (translated as "The Way of Youth"), popular at that time in Belarus, where his poems and prose were directly posted.

Jahnke could not avoid being drafted into the army, and in 1938 he joined the ranks of the Polish army, his service was in the marines. In the fall of 1939, Bryl was taken prisoner, it happened near Gdynia. He remained a prisoner of the Germans until September 1941, he fled and soon joined the partisans from the Soviet Union. In October 1942, Bryl was awarded the title of a liaison officer of the partisan brigade named after I. Zhukov.

In March 1944 he was admitted to the Komsomolets brigade, a partisan intelligence officer, in July of the same year he became the editor of the Stsyag Svabody newspaper (translated as "Freedom Banner"), run by the organ of the Mir underground district committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks. His duties also included editing the satirical leaflet "Partyzanskaya zhygala" (which in Russian means "Partisan sting").

In October 1944, Bryl moved to Minsk, went to work in the editorial office of a newspaper-poster called “Let's crush the fascist gadzina” (which means “Let's crush the fascist reptile”), in parallel with this he worked as an editor in the magazines “Vozhyk” (“Hedgehog”), "Maladost" ("Youth"), "Polymya" ("Flame"), as well as in the State Publishing House of the Byelorussian SSR. In many of Bryl's works, the atmosphere of wartime is felt, for example, in the novel "Birds and Nests" the author describes in detail the events that happened to him and his compatriots during this difficult time.


In the period from 1966 to 1971, Bryl worked as the secretary of the board of the Writers' Union of the Byelorussian SSR. He was twice elected a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR (first in the period from 1963 to 1967, the second time he was re-elected in 1980, the powers of a deputy ended in 1985).

From 1967 to 1990, Yanka Bryl was assigned the duties of the chairman of the Belarusian branch of the "USSR - Canada" society. Since 1989, he has become a member of the PEN Center located in the same place in Belarus. Since 1994 he has been an honorary member of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

In 2006, on July 25, Yanka Bryl passed away. His funeral took place in his homeland, in Kolodischi.



The creative path of the writer began in 1931, when he was 14 years old. For the first time his works were published in the Vilna Belarusian magazine "Shlyakh moladzі" ("The way of youth"). Thus, his compatriots had the opportunity to get acquainted with the works "Aposhnia of Krygi", "Azhyvayuts' Forest and Field …", "Zaprog at Sakhu Ryhor Sivulyu …", "Spatkanne", which later became cult. He tried to write not only in Belarusian, there are a number of his works in Russian and Polish, but the vast majority of his works are still written in Belarusian.

In 1946 Bryl's first book "Apavyadanni" was published. It includes a number of stories, as well as the story "U Syam'i", in which the author acquaints readers with the life of a village in Western Belarus.

The year 1947 was marked by the appearance of a new collection by Yanka Bryl called "Nemanskii Cossacks". In 1953, the novel by the writer "Galya" was published, which the readers appreciated very highly, the popularity of the novel literally went off scale.

Bryl could not ignore the theme of war, he often used it in his work. In 1958, his collection entitled "Nadpis on the Zrube" was published, which included several works, the most famous of which is "Maci", it is rightfully considered a classic of Belarusian literature.

Bryl's work is multifaceted, among his many works one can find miniatures with a lyrical context, which were based on specific facts. They are often called essays, these small works are distinguished by their brevity and deep meaning. A special place in the writer's work is occupied by collections of miniatures - "Zhmenya Sonechnykh Promnyak" (1965), "Vitrazh" (1972), "Akraets of Bread" (1977), "Sonnya i Pamyats" (1985).

People's writer out of format

Although Janka Bryl was awarded the title of People's Writer, the fact that the writer did not recognize the Soviet system and was not a party member almost became the reason for the refusal to obtain this status. Petr Masherov, the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, who highly appreciated Bryl's talent, despite political considerations, agreed to confer the title of People's Writer on Ivan Antonovich.


Personal life

The writer's wife was named Nina Mikhailovna. Their first date, as family friend Anatoly Sidorevich recalls, was somewhat anecdotal. Ivan Antonovich presented his chosen one with "Critique of Pure Reason" by Joseph Kant, commenting on his act by the fact that such books are read only by educated girls. Janka Bryl survived his wife for three years.

The grandson of the famous writer followed in the footsteps of his grandfather - Anton Frantisek Bryl (born in 1982) - a poet and translator from Russian into Belarusian.

The last years of Yanka Brylya's life were not very joyful, the children Galina, Natalya and Andrei came to their father once a week on Saturdays, so they helped to brighten up the loneliness of the elderly father. Today, streets in Minsk (Belarus) and Gdynia (Poland) are named after the writer, so admirers of Bryl's talent immortalized his memory.

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