Mikhail Afanasyevich was born in Kiev in the family of a priest and was the eldest of seven children. He graduated from the Medical Faculty of Kiev University and was appointed as provincial physician to Nikolskoe Village in Smolensk province, which later was reflected in A Country Doctor's Notebook.
In 1917 the author first came to Moscow. He stayed with his uncle the famous Moscow gynaecologist N.M. Pokrovskiy, who was the prototype of professor Preobrazhenskiy.
A year later he returned to Kiev and was drafted to the White Army, after the war he finally moved to Moscow, where one after another he created three satirical novellas with fantastic plots Diaboliada and Other Stories, The Fatal Eggs and Heart of a Dog.
In 1926 the play The White Guard was staged and was a great success. It left the theatre only at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War when the bombing destroyed scenery pieces.
Within next three years none of Bulgakov's plays was stage and not a single line appeared in print. He wrote a letter to Stalin asking either to allow him to leave the country or give the opportunity to earn a living. Since 1928 Bulgakov had been working on the novel The Master and Margarita, which posthumously brought him worldwide fame.
Novelist died on March 10, 1940 in Moscow from severe hereditary kidney disease, he did not live up just a few days to his 49th birthday.