A Novel Without Lies


Anatoly Mariengof - 1926
    With its lively style and psychological insight, this memoir about Sergei Esenin has abiding value for scholar and general reader alike.

Pushkin: A Biography


T.J. Binyon - 2002
    He also gave it a figure of enduring romantic allure–fiery, restless, extravagant, a prodigal gambler and inveterate seducer of women. Having forged a dazzling, controversial career that cost him the enmity of one tsar and won him the patronage of another, he died at the age of thirty-eight, following a duel with a French officer who was paying unscrupulous attention to his wife.In his magnificent, prizewinning Pushkin, T. J. Binyon lifts the veil of the iconic poet’s myth to reveal the complexity and pathos of his life while brilliantly evoking Russia in all its nineteenth-century splendor. Combining exemplary scholarship with the pace and detail of a great novel, Pushkin elevates biography to a work of art.

Letters: Summer 1926


Boris Pasternak - 1926
    AzadovskyThe summer of 1926 was a time of trouble and uncertainty for each of the three poets whose correspondence is collected in this moving volume. Marina Tsvetayeva was living in exile in France and struggling to get by. Boris Pasternak was in Moscow, trying to come to terms with the new Bolshevik regime. Rainer Maria Rilke, in Switzerland, was dying. Though hardly known to each other, they began to correspond, exchanging a series of searching letters in which every aspect of life and work is discussed with extraordinary intensity and passion. Letters: Summer 1926 takes the reader into the hearts and minds of three of the twentieth century's greatest poets at a moment of maximum emotional and creative pressure.

Letters to Vera


Vladimir Nabokov - 2014
    Véra Slonim shared his delight at the enchantment of life's trifles and literature's treasures, and he rated her as having the best and quickest sense of humour of any woman he had met. From their meeting in 1921, Vladimir's letters to his beloved Véra form a narrative arc that tells a forty-six year-long love story, and they are memorable in their entirety. Almost always playful, romantic, and pithy, the letters tell us much about the man and the writer; we see that Vladimir observed everything, from animals, faces, speech, and landscapes with genuine fascination.

The Portable Twentieth-Century Russian Reader


Clarence Brown - 1985
    It includes stories by Chekhov, Gorky, Bunin, Zamyatin, Babel, Nabokov, Solzhenitsyn, and Voinovich; excerpts from Andrei Bely's Petersburg, Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago, and Sasha Solokov's A School for Fools; the complete text of Yuri Olesha's 1927 masterpiece Envy; and poetry by Alexander Blok, Anna Akhmatova, and Osip Mandelstam.

The Noise of Time: Selected Prose


Osip Mandelstam - 1925
    Osip Mandelstam has in recent years come to be seen as a central figure in European modernism. Though known primarily as a poet, Mandelstam worked in many styles: autobiography, short story, travel writing, and polemic. Mandelstam's biographer, Clarence Brown, presents a collection of the poet's prose works that illuminates his far-ranging talent and places him within the canon of European modernism.This volume includes Mandelstam's "The Noise of Time, " a series of autobiographical sketches; "The Egyptian Stamp, " a novella echoing Gogol and Dostoevsky; "Fourth Prose, " and the famous travel memoirs "Theodosia" and "Journey to Armenia."

The Town of N


Leonid Dobychin - 1935
    It portrays a fallen provincial world reminiscent of the town of N found in Gogol's Dead Souls, a place populated with characters who are petty, grasping, perfidious, and cruel, quite unlike the positive heroes of socialist realist novels.

All Points North


Simon Armitage - 1998
    Charting the rugged and uneven terrain of a writer's formative years - from tax problems to probation to American tours, football to family to running away to Iceland - Simon Armitage explores growing up and being Northern. It's about humour, language, writing, film, houses, homes, time wasters, one loose tyre, you, me and all points in-between.

My Discovery of America


Vladimir Mayakovsky - 1925
    Touring America, by way of an enforced sojourn in Mexico, Russian poet and indefatigable traveler Vladimir Mayakovsky was able to observe firsthand what he considered to be the model for Soviet development. Although ideologically at odds with much of American culture, and taking every opportunity to propound his own political beliefs en route, he delighted in the creativity and advancement he saw, believing it to be the future for mankind. His impressions, presented here in full for the first time in English, form an inspired collection of sketches, thoughts, jottings, and poems. Vladimir Mayakovsky was the foremost poet of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and one of the founders of Russia’s Futurism movement.

Tolstoy: A Biography


A.N. Wilson - 1988
    Wilson narrates the complex drama of the writer's life: his childhood of aristocratic privilege but emotional deprivation, his discovery of his literary genius after aimless years of gambling and womanizing, and his increasingly disastrous marriage. Wilson sweeps away the long-held belief that Tolstoy's works were the exact mirror of his life, and instead traces the roots of Tolstoy's art to his relationship with God, with women, and with Russia. He also breaks new ground in recreating the world that shaped the great novelist's life and art--the turmoil of ideas and politics in nineteenth-century Russia and the incredible literary renaissance that made Tolstoy's work possible. 24 pages of illustrations.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky: A Writer's Life


Geir Kjetsaa - 1985
    Kjetsaa vividly recreates Dostoyevsky's last-minute rescue from a firing squad and explores how his long imprisonment in Siberia profoundly shaped his vision as a novelist.

Oblivion


Sergei Lebedev - 2010
    What he finds, among the forgotten mines and decrepit barracks of former gulags, is a world relegated to oblivion, where it is easier to ignore both the victims and the executioners than to come to terms with a terrible past. This disturbing tale evokes the great and ruined beauty of a land where man and machine worked in tandem with nature to destroy millions of lives during the Soviet century. Emerging from today's Russia, where the ills of the past are being forcefully erased from public memory, this masterful novel represents an epic literary attempt to rescue history from the brink of oblivion.

A Life in Letters


Anton Chekhov - 2004
    This fascinating new selection tells Chekhov's story as a man and a writer through affectionate bulletins to his family, insightful discussions of literature with publishers and theater directors, and tender love letters to his actress wife. Vividly evoking landscapes, people, and his day to day life, the letters offer revealing glimpses into Chekhov's preoccupations-the onset of tuberculosis, his dual careers as doctor and writer, and his ambivalence about his growing reputation as Russia's foremost playwright and author. This volume takes us inside the mind of one of the world's greatest writers, and the character that emerges from these pages is resilient, generous, charming, and life enhancing.

Anna of All the Russias: A Life of Anna Akhmatova


Elaine Feinstein - 2005
    Anna Akhmatova rose to fame in the years before World War I, but she would pay a heavy price for the political and personal passions that informed her brilliant poetry. In Anna of All the Russias we see Akhmatova's work banned from 1925 until 1940 and again after World War II. We see her steadfast opposition to Stalin, even while her son was held in the Gulag. We see her abiding loyalty to such friends as Mandelstam, Shostakovich, and Pasternak as they faced Stalinist oppression. And we see how, through everything, Akhmatova continued to write, her poetry giving voice to the Russian people by whom she was, and still is, deeply loved.

On Grief and Reason: Essays


Joseph Brodsky - 1995
    In addition to his Nobel lecture, the volume includes essays on the condition of exile, the nature of history, the art of reading, and the idea of the poet as an inveterate Don Giovanni, as well as a homage to Marcus Aurelius and an appraisal of the case of the double agent Kim Philby (the last two were selected for inclusion in the annual Best American Essays volume). The title essay is a consideration of the poetry of Robert Frost, and the book also includes a fond appreciation of Thomas Hardy, a "Letter to Horace", a close reading of Rilke's poem "Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes", and a memoir of Stephen Spender. Among the other essays are Mr. Brodsky's open letter to Czech President Vaclav Havel and his "immodest proposal" for the future of poetry, an address he delivered while serving as U.S. Poet Laureate.