Vasily Aksyonov first published his works in the early 1960s. His Colleagues; A Ticket to the Stars; It's Time, My Friend, It's Time, Oranges from Marocco, and Surplussed Barrelware made quite a hit, becoming instant classics for the young people of that time. Many of Aksyonov's original phrases and descriptions became part of the living language of his contemporaries. Aksyonov's style in writing was praised as a novel and off-beat phenomenon in literature.
His novel The Burn marked a turning point in the writer's artistic biography and, in fact, in his whole life. The book dealt with Stalin's repressions, and the sheer fact that the young writer dared to approach this tabooed subject was enough to provoke repressions of the Soviet regime against the author himself, forcing his expatriation.
Aksyonov's books have been translated into many languages. 1996 has seen the publication of The Negative of the Positive Character, a book of short stories, and a five-volume collection of Aksyonov's selected works.