Ivan Turgenev, one of the giants of nineteenth-century Russian literature, was born in the Ukraine in 1818. A novelist, poet, and playwright, he was a strong advocate of the modernization of Russian society; his story collection A Sportsman’s Sketches is thought to have convinced Czar Alexander II to emancipate Russia’s serfs. Turgenev chose to live outside Russia, in part because his masterpiece, Fathers and Sons, was poorly received there and in part so he could pursue a love affair with the married French opera singer who was his lifelong passion. Turgenev never married. He died in 1883.