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From the celebrated, award-winning translators of Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov: a lavish volume of stories by one of the most influential short fiction writers of all time
Anton Chekhov left an indelible impact on every literary form in which he wrote, but none more so than short fiction. Now, renowned translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky give us their renderings of fifty-two Chekhov stories. These stories, which span the complete arc of his career, reveal the extraordinary variety and unexpectedness of his work, from the farcically comic to the darkly complex, showing that there is no one single type of “Chekhov story.” They are populated by a remarkable range of characters who come from all parts of Russia and all walks of life, including landowners, peasants, soldiers, farmers, teachers, students, hunters, shepherds, mistresses, wives, and children. Taken together, they demonstrate how Chekhov democratized the form.
Included in this volume are tales translated into English for the first time, including “Reading” and “An Educated Blockhead.” Early stories such as “Joy,” “Anguish,” and “A Little Joke” sit alongside such later works as “The Siren,” “Big Volodya and Little Volodya,” “In the Cart,” and “About Love.” In its range, in its narrative artistry, and in its perceptive probing of the human condition, this collection promises profound delight.
About the Author
Anton Chekhov was born in 1860 in southern Russia. The grandson of a serf, he became a physician, paying for his education by selling satirical and humorous sketches to the newspapers. He soon turned to serious short stories, winning the Pushkin Prize in 1887, and went on to write plays, including Uncle Vanya, The Seagull, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard, and novellas, including The Steppe and The Duel. He died of tuberculosis in 1904.
Together, RICHARD PEVEAR and LARISSA VOLOKHONSKY have translated works by Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Bulgakov, Leskov, and Pasternak. They were twice awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize (for Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina). They are married and live in France.
“A first-rate collection. . . . Pevear and Volokhonsky select stories—happily, one for each week of the year—that express that devotion to realism, even if sometimes broadly satirically. . . . Encounters between young and old, rich and poor, country and city people mark these stories. . . . It’s a marvel of imagination. A welcome gathering of work, some not often anthologized, by an unrivaled master of the short story form.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)