A collection of great and beloved works of Russian literature from classic novels to masterly stories, including translations by award winners Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, in beautiful, enduring hardcover editions with elegant cloth sewn bindings, gold stamped covers, and silk ribbon markers.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Collected Stories by Alexander Pushkin
The Complete Short Novels by Anton Chekhov
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
A Sportsman’s Notebook by Ivan Turgenev
About Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov was the author of hundreds of short stories and several plays and is regarded by many as both the greatest Russian storyteller and the father of modern drama.
About Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky’s life was as dark and dramatic as the great novels he wrote. He was born in Moscow in 1821,hroat until he strangled. A short first novel, Poor Folk (1846) brought him instant success, but his writing career was cut short by his arrest for alleged subversion against Tsar Nicholas I in 1849. In prison he was given the “silent treatment” for eight months (guards even wore velvet soled boots) before he was led in front a firing squad. Dressed in a death shroud, he faced an open grave and awaited execution, when suddenly, an order arrived commuting his sentence. He then spent four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison, where he began to suffer from epilepsy, and he returned to St. Petersburg only a full ten years after he had left in chains.
His prison experiences coupled with his conversion to a profoundly religious philosophy formed the basis for his great novels. But it was his fortuitous marriage to Anna Snitkina, following a period of utter destitution brought about by his compulsive gambling, that gave Dostoevsky the emotional stability to complete Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1868-69), The Possessed (1871-72), and The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80). When Dostoevsky died in 1881, he left a legacy of masterworks that influenced the great thinkers and writers of the Western world and immortalized him as a giant among writers of world literature.
About Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol
was born in 1809; his family were small gentry of Ukrainian cossack extraction, and his father was the author of a number of plays based on Ukrainian popular tales. He attended school in Nézhin and gained a reputation for his theatrical abilities. He went to St Petersburg in 1829 and with the help of a friend gained a post in one of the government ministries. Gogol was introduced to Zhukovsky, the romantic poet, and to Pushkin, and with the publication of Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka
(1831) he had an entrée to all the leading literary salons. He even managed for a short period to be Professor of History at the University of St. Petersburg (1834-5).
Diary of a Madman and The Story of the Quarrel between Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan Nikiforovich appeared in 1934, The Nose in 1836, and The Overcoat in 1842. Gogol also wrote the play The Inspector (1836), Dead Souls (1842), and several moralizing essays defending the Tsarist regime, to the horror of his liberal and radical friends. He lived a great deal abroad, mostly in Rome, and in his last years became increasingly prey to religious mania and despair. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1848, but was bitterly disappointed in the lack of feeling that the journey kindled. He returned to Russia and fell under the influence of a spiritual director who told him to destroy his writings as they were sinful. He burned the second part of Dead Souls, and died in 1852 after subjecting himself to a severe regime of fasting.
About Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) was a writer, poet, and playwright of the Romantic era who pioneered the use of vernacular speech in Russian literature. He was descended from Russian nobility and from an African great-grandfather who had been raised at the court of Peter the Great. Pushkin’s commitment to social reform led to a period of exile and government censorship, during which he wrote some of his most famous works. He died after a fighting a duel at the age of thirty-seven.
About Leo Tolstoy
Count Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born in central Russia. After serving in the Crimean War, he retired to his estate and devoted himself to writing, farming, and raising his large family. His novels and outspoken social polemics brought him world fame.