About the book (from Wikipedia):
Oblomov is the second novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Ilya Ilych Oblomov is the central character of the novel, portrayed as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed. In the first 50 pages, he manages only to move from his bed to a chair. The book was considered a satire of Russian nobility whose social and economic function was increasingly questioned in mid-nineteenth century Russia. It has been said that no other novel has been used to describe the ever-so-elusive “Russian mentality” or “Russian soul” as frequently as Oblomov.
The novel was popular when it came out, and some of its characters and devices have imprinted on Russian culture and language.
About Goncharev (from Wikipedia):
Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov (1812 – 1891) was a Russian novelist best known for his novels A Common Story (1847), Oblomov (1859), and The Precipice (1869). He also served in many official capacities, including the position of censor.
Goncharov’s second and best-known novel Oblomov was published in 1859 in Otechestvennye zapiski. His third and final novel The Precipice was published in Vestnik Evropy in 1869. He also worked as a literary and theatre critic. Towards the end of his life Goncharov wrote a memoir called An Uncommon Story, in which he accused his literary rivals, first and foremost Ivan Turgenev, of having plagiarized his works and prevented him from achieving European fame. The memoir was published in 1924. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, among others, considered Goncharov an author of high stature. Anton Chekhov is quoted as stating that Goncharov was “…ten heads above me in talent.”