Recent research on the Soviet period of Russian literary history has eliminated many gaps in our understanding of that complex era. With few exceptions, however, little critical attention has been directed to the most important of all Soviet genres: the production novel, or proizvodstvennyi roman. Such neglect is particularly true of production novels written in the transitional era between the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Such works provide an essential but still misunderstood clue to the Stalinist era and the formation of Soviet culture. Based on contemporary theory and new archival research, Writers at Work re-assesses the production novel and re-interprets its importance in the development of Stalinism. The author uses both well-known and long-forgotten examples of the production novel to explore the essential role this unique genre played in the construction of Soviet culture.