Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский; IPA: [ˈfʲodər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ dəstɐˈjefskʲɪj] ( listen); 11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer and essayist. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. Although he began writing in the mid-1840s, his most memorable works—including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov—are from his later years. His output consists of eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and three essays. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow. He was introduced to literature at an early age through fairy tales and legends and through books by English, French, German and Russian authors. His mother died suddenly in 1837, when he was 15, and around the same time he left school to enter the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. After graduating, he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a liberal lifestyle. He soon began translating books to earn extra money. In the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, gaining him entry into St. Petersburg's literary circles.