"The Death of Ivan Ilyich" is one of the masterpieces of Tolstoy's late fiction and the first major fictional work to be published by the author after his crisis and conversion to Christianity. The story of the life and death at the age of forty-five, of a high court prosecutor in 19th-century Russia, it is an intense and moving examination of loss and the possibilities of redemption, in which Tolstoy explores the dichotomy between the artificial and the authentic life. The nine other stories in this new collection include "Hadji Murat" which has been described by Harold Bloom as 'the best story in the world' and "The Devil", a tale of sexual obsession based on Tolstoy's own relationship with a married peasant woman on his estate in the years before his marriage. Magnificently translated by the acclaimed translating team behind War and Peace, this new volume captures the richness and immediacy of Tolstoy's language and reveals the author as a passionate moral guide, an unflinching seeker of truth, and a creator of enduring and universal art.
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2009: To anyone for whom Leo Tolstoy's masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina have stood as giants too daunting to scale, and equally to the many readers who have devoured those novels and are hungry for more, we offer The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories. Newly translated by the team of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, who have enlivened the Russian classics for a new generation, this selection of 11 of his finest stories reveals a Tolstoy of many sides and unsurpassed storytelling talents. Along with smaller gems like "Alyosha the Pot," the collection features a handful of thrilling longer tales that each carry the power of a novel: the terrifying murderer's confession of "The Kreuzer Sonata," the breathlessly dramatic path of a single crime through dozens of lives in "The Forged Coupon," and the haunting account of the isolation of mortality in the legendary title story. Most revelatory of all for a modern reader is the final novella, and Tolstoy's final work, "Hadji Murat," the disturbingly contemporary story of a fiercely honorable Chechen warrior caught between local rivalries and the ambivalent reach of a decadent empire. --Tom NissleyAbout the Author:
Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia on 9 September 1828.In 1852 he published his first work, the autobiographical Childhood. He served in the army during the Crimean War and his Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6) are based on his experiences. His two most popular masterpieces are War and Peace (1864-69) and Anna Karenina (1875-8). He died in 20 November 1910. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have been nominated for the PEN-Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize three times and have won it twice. They live in Paris.
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