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Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukraine in 1809 and died in 1852. Originally trained as a painter, he became interested in the theater, and was soon known for his plays and short stories, notably Diary of a Madman (1834), The Nose (1836), The Inspector (1836), and The Overcoat (1842). Dead Souls, his masterpiece, was published in 1842.
Richard Pevear, a native of Boston, and Larissa Volokhonsky, a native of Leningrad, are married and live in France. Their translation of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize, and they have translated many other titles by Dostoevsky, Gogol, and Chekhov.