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The Last Station
by Jay Parini

"A skillful tapestry.... The Last Station illumines the larger than fiction life of a literary giant." —USA Today

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  • About the Film

    Now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures, starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and Paul Giamatti, and directed by Michael Hoffman. In theaters December 4.

    About the Book

    A New York Times Notable Book

    As Leo Tolstoy's life draws to a close, his tempestuous wife and most cunning disciple are locked in a whirlwind battle for the great man's soul. Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth and thirteen children, Tolstoy dramatically flees his home, only to fall ill at a tiny nearby rail station. The famous (and famously troubled) writer believes he is dying alone, unaware that over a hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.

    Jay Parini moves deftly between a colorful cast of characters to create a stunning portrait of one of the world's most treasured authors.

    "Utterly satisfying.... A loving and thoughtful rendering of the complex character of Leo Tolstoy.... Parini captures marvelously the paradoxical nature of this genius whose mind and body seemed ever to be at war."
    --Washington Post Book World

    "Fascinating.... Parini has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of Tolstoy."
    --Los Angeles Times Book Review

    "A subtle masterpiece.... Tolstoy himself would probably have recognized the work of a true artist."
    --The Times Literary Supplement

    "One of those rare works of fiction that manages to demonstrate both scrupulous historical research and true originality of voice and perception.... What lifts this book high above most historical novels is Jay Parini's remarkable ability to enter the minds of his characters."
    --The New York Times Book Review

    About the Author

    Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont. Besides The Last Station, Parini's novels include The Apprentice Lover and Benjamins Crossing. His fifth volume of poetry was The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems (2005). He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner, in addition to such nonfiction works as The Art of Teaching (2005), Why Poetry Matters (2008), and Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America (2008). Parini's reviews and essays appear frequently in major periodicals, including The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian. He lives in Vermont.



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