Daughter of the famous critic Kornei Chukovsky, Lydia Chukovskaya is a fiction writer and memoirist of note. Her two novels, Sofia Petrovna (1965), which was translated as The Deserted House, and Going Under (1972), dealt with the Stalin period. The former work is a portrait of a woman whose psyche gradually dissolves under the impact of the purges. A close friend of Anna Akhmatova, Chukovskaya preserved a detailed account of their encounters, highly important for understanding the poet's biography and views. Chukovskaya became a leading dissident, and was expelled from the Writers' Union in 1974.