Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin (7 September [O.S. 26 August] 1870 – 25 August 1938) was a Russian writer best known for his novels The Duel and The Pit, Moloch & Olesya.
In Petersburg Kuprin found himself in the center of Russian cultural life. He became friends with Anton Chekhov whom he regularly corresponded with up until the latter's death in 1904, often seeking his advice.
The Duel became the literary sensation of the year in Russia. In 1905 some 45.5 thousand copies were sold, a vast number for the early 1900s. The controversy this novel caused continued until 1917. Critics of the left welcomed The Duel as "another nail in the coffin of autocracy."