Leo Tolstoy combined detailed physical description with perceptive psychological insight to sweep aside the sham of surface appearances and lay bare man’s intimate gestures, acts, and thoughts. Murder and sacrifice…greed and devotion…lust and affection…vanity and love—one by one, in this volume of great stories, Tolstoy dissects the basic drives, emotions, and motives of ordinary people searching for self-knowledge and spiritual perfection. Chekhov said, “Of authors my favorite is Tolstoy.” And Turgenev “marveled at the strength of his huge talent…It sends a cold shudder even down my back…He is a master, a master.”
Now with a new introduction by Regina Marler and an afterword by Hugh McLean.
Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was born in central Russia. After serving in the Crimean War, he retired to his estate and devoted himself to writing, farming, and raising his large family. His novels and outspoken social polemics brought him world fame.