The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Last Year by Jay Parini, (cover) Kamil Vojnar
Set in the last tumultuous years of Leo Tolstoy's life, The Last Station centers on the battle for his soul waged by his wife, Sofya Andreyevna, and his leading disciple, Vladimir Cherkov. Torn between his professed codtrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth, his thirteen children, and a life of hedonism, Tolstoy makes a dramatic flight from his home. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny rail station at Astapovo, he believes that he is dying alone, whle over one hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condidtion. A brilliant recreation of the mind and tortured soul of one of the world's greatest novelists, The Last Station is a richly inventive novel that dances bewitchingly between fact and fiction.