Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (Russian: Борис Леонидович Пастернак) (10 February 1890 -- 30 May 1960) was a Nobel Prize-winning Russian and Soviet poet of Jewish descent, novelist and translator of Goethe and Shakespeare. In Russia, Pasternak is most celebrated as a poet. My Sister Life, written in 1917, is one of the most influential collections of poetry published in the Russian language in the 20th century. In the West he is best known for his epic novel Doctor Zhivago, a tragedy whose events span the last period of the Russian Empire and the early days of the Soviet Union. It was first translated and published in Italy in 1957. He helped give birth to the dissident movement with the publication of Doctor Zhivago.