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Virgin SoilTurgenev's final novel, Virgin Soil traces the destinies of several middle-class revolutionaries who seek to go to the people by working on the land and instilling democratic ideas in the countryside's locals. They include the daydreaming impoverished young tutor Nezhdanov - employed by the liberal councillor Sipyagin and his vain and beautiful wife Valentina - the naive young radical Maryanna and the progressive ...
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The Whisperer in Darkness and Other TalesWhen strange things are reported to be floating in rivers in rural Vermont after a flood, old myths about hill-dwelling monsters who abduct humans resurface in subsequent debates, much to the annoyance of local academic Albert N. Wilmarth. However, when he starts receiving letters from a man named Henry Wentworth Akeley about the supposed presence near his farmhouse of an extraterrestrial race worshipping ancient ...
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The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to FlyA Cat, A Seagull, An Impossible Task... Caught up in an oil spill, a dying seagull scrambles ashore to lay her final egg and lands on a balcony, where she meets Zorba, a big black cat from the port of Hamburg. The cat promises the seagull to look after the egg, not to eat the chick once it's hatched and - most difficult of all - to teach the baby gull to fly. Will Zorba and his feline friends honour the promise ...
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The Last of the Belles and Other StoriesInspired by Fitzgerald's own courtship of his future wife Zelda, 'The Last of the Belles' centres on the Southern beauty Ailie Calhoun from Tarleton, Georgia, who finds herself the object of attention of all the officers at a nearby army base, including the narrator, Andy. A wistful and melancholy exploration of unfulfilled dreams and lost youth, the story is considered one of Fitzgerald's finest pieces of short ...
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Hadji MuratTolstoy knew as he was writing Hadji Murat, his last work of fiction, that it would not be published in his lifetime, and so gave an uncompromising portrayal of the Russians' faults and the nature of the rebels' struggle. In the process, he shows a mastery of style and an understanding of Chechnya that still carries great resonance today. Hadji Murat, one of the most feared and venerated mountain chiefs in the ...
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The Same Old StoryFilled with dreams of pursuing a career as a poet, the young Alexander Aduev moves from the country to St Petersburg, where he takes up lodgings next to his uncle Pyotr, a shrewd and world-weary businessman. As his ideals are challenged by disappointment in the fields of love, friendship and poetical ambition, Alexander must decide whether to return to the homely values he has left behind or adapt to the ruthless ...
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Diaboliad and Other StoriesIn Bulgakov's Diaboliad, the modest and unassuming office clerk Korotkov is summarily sacked for a trifling error from his job at the First Central Depot for the Materials for Matches, and tries to seek out his newly assigned superior Kalsoner, responsible for his dismissal. His quest through the labyrinth of Soviet bureaucracy takes on the increasingly surreal dimensions of a nightmare. This early satirical ...
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Fathers and Children"Fathers and Children", arguably the first modern novel in the history of Russian literature, shocked readers when it was first published in 1862 - the controversial character of Bazarov, a self-proclaimed nihilist intent on rejecting all existing traditional values and institutions, providing a trenchant critique of the established order. Turgenev's masterpiece investigates the growing nihilist movement of ...
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The Selfish Giant and Other StoriesWhen the Selfish Giant decides to build a wall around his garden to prevent the children from playing in it, it becomes barren and stuck in perpertual winter. It takes a wonderful event and the heart of a young boy for him to realize the error of his ways. A classic tale for children, The Selfish Giant is presented here with all of Oscar Wilde's other fairy stories - The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the ...
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The Diaries of Adam and EveMark Twain's gloriously funny Diary of Adam and Eve, which John Updike recently described as a paradigm of the relations between sexes, is presented here with a number of other Twain pieces on our two oldest ancestors, showing the writer's interest in this most famous biblical story. By giving a voice to Adam and Eve, and by hitting all the notes on the literary scale - from the intimate to the comical, from ...
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The Intimate Strangers and Other StoriesSara, the American wife of a French aristocrat, has had two encounters with her compatriot Cedric Killian, one a youthful idyll in North Carolina and the other during the First World War, when he was a soldier about to go to battle. When, years later and after the death of her husband, Cedric contacts her out of the blue, Sara finds herself eager to see him again - against the wishes of her in-laws - and to ...
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Image on the Heart and Other StoriesWhen Tudy's first husband tragically dies, she takes up the offer of Tom, a family friend, to pay for her to go study in France. As she and her benefactor become close, she agrees to marry him in Provence later that year. But as the wedding approaches, Tom discovers that his fiancee has become involved with Riccard, a dashing French pilot and his near-double. A tale of broken trust and infidelity based on Zelda ...
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Notes from UndergroundThe unnamed narrator of the novel, a former government official, has decided to retire from the world and lead a life of inactivity and contemplation. His fiercely bitter, cynical and witty monologue ranges from general observations and philosophical musings to memorable scenes from his own life, including his obsessive plans to exact revenge on an officer who has shown him disrespect and a dramatic encounter ...
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Dark AvenuesConsidered one of the most influential authors of twentieth century Russian Literature, Ivan Bunin's Dark Avenues is the culmination of a life's work which unrelentingly questioned of the political doxa whilst taking his poetic mastery of language to dark new heights. Written between 1938 and 1944 and set in the context of a disintegrating Russian culture, this collection of short fiction centres around dark, ...
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A Dog's HeartWhen a stray dog dying on the streets of Moscow is taken in by a wealthy professor, he is subjected to medical experiments in which he receives various transplants of human organs. As he begins to transform into a rowdy, unkempt human by the name of Poligraf Poligrafovich Sharikov, his actions distress the professor and those surrounding him, although he finds himself accepted into the ranks of the Soviet state. ...
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The IdiotAfter spending several years in a sanatorium recovering from an illness that caused him to lose his memory and ability to reason, Prince Myshkin arrives in St Petersburg and is at once confronted with the stark realities of life in the Russian capital - from greed, murder and nihilism to passion, vanity and love. Mocked for his childlike naivety yet valued for his openness and understanding, Prince Myshkin finds ...
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Eugene OneginWhen the world-weary dandy Eugene Onegin moves from St Petersburg to take up residence in the country estate he has inherited, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his neighbour, the poet Vladimir Lensky. Coldly rejecting the amorous advances of Tatyana and cynically courting her sister Olga - Lensky's fiancee - Onegin finds himself dragged into a tragedy of his own making. Eugene Onegin - presented here ...
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In the TwilightIn the Twilight, the third collection of short stories compiled by Anton Chekhov himself, was his first major success and won him the prestigious Pushkin Prize when it was published in 1887. This volume represents a clear milestone in the writer's passage from the youthful Antosha Chekhonte, author of slight comic sketches, to the mature master of the short-story genre.
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The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other StoriesOne of Twain's most celebrated novellas, 'The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg' is a satirical retelling of the Garden of Eden story in the Bible, in which the author, mocking the supposed honesty and incorruptibility of the inhabitants of an imaginary American town, shows how man is fundamentally bad and cannot resist the temptations of gold. This collection also includes another acclaimed novella, 'A Double-Barrelled ...
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Belkin's StoriesFirst published in 1831, Belkin's Stories was the first completed work of fiction by the founding father of Russian literature. Through a series of interlinked stories purporting to have been told by various narrators to the recently deceased country squire Ivan Belkin, Pushkin offers his own variation on themes and genres that were popular in his day and provides a vivid portrayal of the Russian people. From ...
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Childhood Memories and Other StoriesGiuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the author of one of the most poignant and enduringly popular novels of the twentieth century, left only a few other pieces of fiction when he died prematurely at the age of sixty. Childhood Memories and Other Stories, here presented in a new translation by Stephen Parkin and including previously deleted passages and the unpublished fragment 'Torretta', collects all of Lampedusa's ...
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Dog StoriesThroughout his life Rudyard Kipling was fond of dogs, and while they featured prominently in early tales such as 'The Dog Hervey' and 'Garm - a Hostage', he later came up with the innovative idea of writing a story from the perspective of a dog, resulting in the hugely successful 'Thy Servant a Dog', narrated by an Aberdeen terrier named Boots.
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OblomovNew, award-winning translation of Goncharov's popular masterpiece. First published in 1859, Oblomov is an indisputable classic of Russian literature, comparable in its stature to such masterpieces as Gogol's Dead Souls, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. The book centres on the figure of Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, a member of the dying class of the landed gentry, who spends most of his time ...
The Pat Hobby StoriesA Hollywood hack who has fallen on hard times since the end of the Silent Era, Pat Hobby spends his time hanging out in the studio lot attempting to devise schemes - such as pressing his secretary for blackmail material against a studio executive - to get more work and earn on-screen credits. Oblivious to his own shortcomings and filled with feelings of self-importance, he embarks on a course towards ever-increasing ...
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Babylon Revisited and Other StoriesSet in the year after the 1929 crash and incorporating many autobiographical elements, 'Babylon Revisited' tells the story of the widower Charlie Wales, a reformed alcoholic and successful businessman returning to Paris to convince his in-laws to give him back the daughter he abandoned. As the old haunts of the city he used to carouse in seem more and more alien to him, he finds himself assailed by feelings ...
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George Silverman's ExplanationAfter a traumatic early childhood spent living in poverty in a Preston cellar, the suddenly orphaned George Silverman grows up convinced that he is at fault for all the misfortunes in his life. Hoodwinked by hypocritical clergymen and exploited by his employer, he finds himself forsaking love and facing professional ruin. One of Dickens's very last writings, 'George Silverman's Explanation' is a dark and psychologically ...
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Heart of Darkness and the Complete Congo DiaryOn a boat in the Thames estuary, Marlow tells his travelling companions of his reconnaissance expedition for a Belgian trading company to its most remote outpost in central Africa, which brought him on the trail of the elusive Kurtz, a brilliant idealist gone rogue. His account relates not only the perils he encounters on his quest, but also the deterioration of his state of mind as he is confronted with a world ...
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Black SnowAfter being saved from a suicide attempt by a literary editor, the journalist and failed novelist Sergei Maxudov has a book suddenly accepted for stage adaptation at a prestigious venue and finds himself propelled into Moscow's theatrical world. In a cut-throat environment tainted by Soviet politics, censorship and egomania - epitomized by the arrogant and incompetent director Ivan Vasilyevich - absurdity gradually ...
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Notes on a Cuff and Other StoriesWritten between 1920 and 1921 while Bugakov was working in a hospital in the remote Caucasian outpost of Vladikavkaz, Notes on a Cuff is a series of journalistic sketches which show the young doctor trying to embark on a literary career among the chaos of war, disease, politics and bureaucracy.
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The Fatal EggsProfessor Persikov, an eccentric zoologist, stumbles upon a new light ray that accelerates growth and reproduction rates in living organisms. In the wake of a plague that has decimated the country's poultry stocks, Persikov's discovery is exploited as a means to correct the problem. As foreign agents, the state and the Soviet media all seize upon the red ray, matters get out of hand.
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Petersburg TalesWritten in the 1830s and early 1840s, these comic stories tackle life behind the cold and elegant facade of the Imperial capital from the viewpoints of various characters, such as a collegiate assessor who one day finds that his nose has detached itself from his face and risen the ranks to become a state councillor ('The Nose'), a painter and a lieutenant whose romantic pursuits meet with contrasting degrees ...
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SmokeNew translation of one of the most celebrated novels by the author of Fathers and Children. On his way back to Russia after some years spent in the West, Grigory Mikhailovich Litvinov, the son of a retired official of merchant stock, stops over in Baden-Baden to meet his fiancee Tatyana. However, a chance encounter with his old flame, the manipulative Irina - now married to a general and a prominent figure in ...
Tales of the Jazz AgePart of Alma Classics Fitzgerald's mini-series. Lavishly produced edition with flaps and b&w plates. A collection of early short stories which helped make Fitzgerald's name, Tales of the Jazz Age combines period pieces - the most notable of which is the novella-length 'May Day' - with more fanciful creations, such as the fantastical 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', recently made into a Hollywood film.
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The Last TycoonMonroe Stahr is a film producer at the height of his career, revered by the industry and in control of every aspect of his business empire. In his ruthless rise to the top, the young widower has had little time for sentiment, until he meets the beguiling Kathleen Moore, and the two embark on an intense but ill-fated relationship.
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The DoubleConstantly rebuffed from the social circles he aspires to frequent, the timid clerk Golyadkin is confronted by the sudden appearance of his double, a more brazen, confident and socially succesful version of himself, who abuses and victimizes the original. As he is increasingly persecuted, Golyadkin finds his social, romantic and professional life unravelling, in a spiral that leads to a catastrophic denouement.
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Diaries and Selected LettersThe career of Mikhail Bulgakov, the author of Master and Margarita - now regarded as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century literature - was characterized by a constant and largely unsuccessful struggle against state censorship. This suppression did not only apply to his art: in 1926 his personal diary was seized by the authorities. From then on he confined his thoughts to letters to his friends and family, ...
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The Pink HotelA seventeen-year-old London girl flies to Los Angeles for the funeral of her mother Lily, from whom she was separated in her childhood. After stealing a suitcase of letters, clothes and photographs from her mum's bedroom at the top of a hotel on Venice Beach, the girl spends her summer travelling around Los Angeles in a bid to track down the men who knew her mother. As she discovers more about Lily's past and ...
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The Beautiful and DamnedThe heir to his grandfather's considerable fortune, Anthony Patch is led astray from the path to gainful employment by the temptations and distractions of the 1920s Jazz Age. His descent into dissolution and profligacy is accelerated by his marriage to the attractive but turbulent Gloria, and the couple soon discover the dangerous flip side of a life of glamour and debauchery.
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This Side of ParadiseThis Side of Paradise charts the life of Amory Blaine, an ambitious young man loosely based on Fitzgerald himself, as he moves from his well-heeled Midwest home to study at Princeton and then starts frequenting the circles of high society as an aspiring writer. Experiencing failure and frustration in love and in his career, Blaine finds his youthful enthusiasm gradually giving way to disillusionment, cynicism ...
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Tender is the NightWhile holidaying at a villa on the French Riviera, Dick and Nicole Diver, a wealthy American couple, meet the young film star Rosemary Hoyt. Her arrival causes a stir in their social circle and exposes the cracks in their fragile marriage. As their relationship unravels, the glimpses of their troubled past emerge, and a series of disturbing events unfolds.
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Love PoemsOne of the many aspects of Alexander Pushkin's immense contribution to Russian language and literature, and perhaps the one he is most popular for, is his mastery of the love poem, a genre which he perfected like few others before or after him. This volume contains a selection of his most famous and enduring verse explorations of love, such as I Loved You, Night, and A Magic Moment I Remember, pieces which are ...
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All the Sad Young MenPublished a year after The Great Gatsby, this short-story collection showcases many of the celebrated novel's themes, as well as its unique writing style. Two of the most famous tales, the beautifully elegiac 'The Rich Boy' and 'Winter Dreams', deal with wealthy protagonists - the old-money Anson Hunter and the self-made man Dexter Green - as they come to terms with lost love; while 'Absolution', in which a ...
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White GuardSet in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev during the chaotic winter of 1918 - 19, The White Guard, Bulgakov's first full-length novel, tells the story of a Russian-speaking family trapped in circumstances that threaten to destroy them. As in Tolstoy's War and Peace, the narrative centres on the stark contrast between the cosy domesticity of family life on the one hand, and wide-ranging and destructive historical ...
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Ruslan and LyudmilaIn order to rescue his beloved Lyudmila, who has been abducted by the evil wizard Chernomor, the warrior Ruslan faces an epic and perilous quest, encoutering a multitude of fantastic and terrifying characters along the way. The basis for Glinka's famous opera of the same name, Ruslan and Lyudmila - Pushkin's second longest poetical work - is a dramatic and ingenious retelling of Russian folklore, full of humour and irony.
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The Captain's DaughterThe inexperienced and impetuous young nobleman Pyotr Grinyev is sent on military service in a remote fortress, where he falls in love with Masha, Captain Mironov's daughter - but then the ruthless Cossack Pugachev lays siege to the stronghold, setting in motion a tragic train of events. This volume also contains another work by Pushkin on the same theme, The History of the Pugachev Rebellion, which presents ...
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Sakhalin IslandIn 1890, the thirty-year-old Chekhov, already knowing that he was ill with tuberculosis, undertook an arduous eleven-week journey from Moscow across Siberia to the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. Now collected here in one volume are the fully annotated translations of his impressions of his trip through Siberia, and the account of his three-month sojourn on Sakhalin Island, together with author's notes, ...
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The Master and MargaritaRussia's literary world is shaken to its foundations when a mysterious gentleman - a professor of black magic - arrives in Moscow, accompanied by a bizarre retinue of servants. It soon becomes clear that he is the Devil himself, come to wreak havoc among the cultural elite of a disbelieving capital. But the Devil's mission quickly becomes entangled with the fate of the Master - a man who has turned his back ...
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The Story of a NobodyA secret terrorist group infiltrates the household of a government official's son, with a view to spying on the father and, ultimately, assassinating him. But the young man entrusted with the task - an ailing, world-weary nobody - seized with the purposelessness of life and a sense of his own impending death, gradually becomes disillusioned with his mission, and decides to embark on a new path which will lead him to tragedy.
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Humiliated and InsultedOscar Wilde claimed that Humiliated and Insulted is not at all inferior to the other great masterpieces and Friedrich Nietzsche is said to have wept over it. Its construction is that of an intricate detective novel, and the reader is plunged into a world of moral degradation, childhood trauma and, above all, unrequited love and irreconcilable relationships. At the centre of the story are a young struggling author, ...
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Living SoulsA wide-ranging Russian novel dealing with the ideas of language, power, and national identity, this comic and thought-provoking work has tremendous relevance to the present day
In a world a few decades from now, Russia has descended into a farcical civil war. With an extreme right-wing cult in power, racial tensions have divided the country into the Varangians - those who consider themselves to be the original ...
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The Diaries of Sofia TolstoyWhen Sofia Behrs married Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of "War and Peace", husband and wife regularly exchanged diaries covering the years from 1862 to 1910. Sofia's life was not an easy one: she idealized her husband, but was tormented by him; even her many children were not an unmitigated blessing. In the background of her life was one of the most turbulent periods of Russian history: the transition from old ...
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