This collection of eleven stories spans virtually the whole of Tolstoy's creative life. While each is unique in form, as a group they are representative of his style, and touch on the central themes that surface in War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Stories as different as "The Snowstorm", "Lucerne", "The Diary of a Madman", and "The Devil" are grounded in autobiographical experience. They deal with journeys of self-discovery and the moral and religious thought that characterizes Tolstoy's works of criticism and philosophy. "Strider" and "Father Sergy", as well as reflecting Tolstoy's own experiences, also reveal profound psychological insights.
These stories range over much of the nineteenth-century Russian world, from the nobility to the peasantry, the military to the clergy, from merchants and cobblers to a horse and a tree. Together they present a fascinating picture of Tolstoy's skill and artistry.
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About the Author
A Russian author of novels, short stories, plays, and philosophical essays, Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was born into an aristocratic family and is best known for the epic books War and Peace and Anna Karenina, regarded as two of the greatest works of Russian literature. After serving in the Crimean War, Tolstoy retired to his estate and devoted himself to writing, farming, and raising his large family. His novels and outspoken social polemics brought him world-wide fame.
Date of Birth:September 9, 1828
Date of Death:November 20, 1910
Place of Birth:Tula Province, Russia
Place of Death:Astapovo, Russia
Education:Privately educated by French and German tutors; attended the University of Kazan, 1844-47