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The Prank by Anton Chekhov

The Prank

Best Seller
The Prank by Anton Chekhov
Jul 28, 2015 | ISBN 9781590178362
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  • Paperback $14.95

    Jul 28, 2015 | ISBN 9781590178362

  • Ebook $9.99

    Jul 28, 2015 | ISBN 9781590178379

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“It’s a remarkable and fun collection, with original illustrations by his brother Nikolay, some of them delightfully saucy…it was this impatient, comic exuberance that supplied the momentum to keep [Anton Chekhov] going at a more measured, considered pace later on. And there are jokes that will still make you laugh.” —Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

“Chekhov selected the 12 stories gathered here for publication in what he intended to be his first collection in 1882, but the book was suppressed by censors. Now NYRB has printed the stories, together with illustrations by Chekhov’s brother Nikolay, in one of the most oddly fascinating documents to emerge from the publisher’s extraordinary catalogue. It is a rare peek into the tastes of the 19th-century Russian public and the juvenilia of a canonized writer.” — Publishers Weekly

“The celebrated style of the American short story (think John Cheever, Andre Dubus) would not exist without [Chekhov], and American readers and lovers of fiction are duty-bound to pick up this volume of Chekhov’s early work, selected by the author himself.” —Nicole Jones, Vanity Fair

The Prank is frankly indispensable for readers of Chekhov, or Russian literature, or comedic literature, or parody, or any and all literature. More importantly, the book is hilarious.”  —Jonathon Sturgeon, Flavorwire

“They are…entertaining and often very funny, especially when the humour tends towards the absurd…The Prank, which includes the illustrations that Nikolai (‘Kolia’) Chekhov drew to accompany his younger brother’s stories, offers plenty of enjoyment.”—Chris Power, New Statesman

“Read Chekhov, read the stories straight through.” —Francine Prose

“Chekhov’s stories are as wonderful (and necessary) now as when they first appeared…It is not only the immense number of stories he wrote—for few, if any, writers have ever done more—it is the awesome frequency with which he produced masterpieces, stories that shrive us as well as delight and move us, that lay bare our emotions in ways only true art can accomplish.” —Raymond Carver
“As readers of imaginative literature, we are always seeking clues, warnings…Where in life to search more assiduously; what not to overlook; what’s the origin of this sort of human calamity, that sort of joy and pleasure: how can we live nearer to the latter, further off from the former? And to such seekers as we are, Chekhov is a guide, perhaps the guide.” —Richard Ford
“[Chekhov’s characters] are not lit by the hard light of common day but suffused in a mysterious grayness. They move in this as though they were disembodied spirits. It is their souls that you seem to see…You have the feeling of a vast, gray, lost throng wandering aimless in some dim underworld.” —Somerset Maugham
“We have to cast about in order to discover where the emphasis in these strange stories rightly comes…The soul is ill; the soul is cured; the soul is not cured.” —Virginia Woolf
“Reading his stories keeps us honest, and humble, but somehow also lighthearted.” —Sonya Chung
“What writers influenced me as a young man? Chekhov! As a dramatist? Chekhov! As a story writer? Chekhov!” —Tennessee Williams
“Reading Chekhov was just like the angels singing to me.” —Eudora Welty

The Prank is frankly indispensable for readers of Chekhov, or Russian literature, or comedic literature, or parody, or any and all literature. More importantly, the book is hilarious.
—Jonathon Sturgeon, Flavorwire

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