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A novel about the first 2 weeks of WWI, the Russian offensive into East Prussia, which resulted in the defeat of General Samsonov's Second Army by Hindenburg. Historical fiction.
Part autobiography, part fiction, this early work by the author of The Master and Margarita shows a master at the dawn of his craft, and a nation divided by centuries of unequal progress.In 1916 a 25-year-old, newly qualified doctor named Mikhail Bulgakov was posted to the remote Russian countryside. He brought to his position a diploma and a complete lack of field experience. And the challenges he faced didn't end there: he was assigned to cover a vast and sprawling territory that was as yet unvisited by modern conveniences such as the motor car, the telephone, and electric lights.The stories in A Country Doctor's Notebook are based on this two-year window in the life of the great modernist. Bulgakov candidly speaks of his own feelings of inadequacy, and warmly and wittily conjures episodes such as peasants applying medicine to their outer clothing rather than their skin, and finding himself charged with delivering a baby--having only read about the procedure in text books.Not yet marked by the dark fantasy of his later writing, this early work features a realistic and wonderfully engaging narrative voice--the voice, indeed, of twentieth century Russia's greatest writer. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Unavailable for twenty years, this harrowing allegory of obedience to authority is esteemed as "one of the defining literary texts of the post-Stalin period." (The Guardian)Set in a remote Siberian depot immediately following the demolition of one of the gulag's notorious camps and the emancipation of its prisoners, Faithful Ruslan is an embittered cri de coeur from a writer whose circumstances obliged him to resist the violence of arbitrary power. "Every writer who writes anything in this country is made to feel he has committed a crime," Georgi Vladimov said. Dissident, he said, is a word that "they force on you." His mother, a victim of Stalin's anti-Semitic policy, had been interred for two years in one of the camps from which Vladimov derived the wrenching detail of Faithful Ruslan. The novel circulated in samizdat for more than a decade, often attributed to Solzhenitsyn, before its publication in the West led to Vladimov's harassment and exile. A starving stray, tortured and abandoned by the godlike "Master" whom he has unconditionally loved, Ruslan and his cadre of fellow guard dogs dutifully wait for the arrival of new prisoners--but the unexpected arrival of a work party provokes a climactic bloodletting. Fashioned from the perceptions of an uncomprehending animal, Vladimov's insistently ironic indictment of the gulag spirals to encompass all of Man's inexplicable cruelty.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Mary" is a gripping tale of youth, first love, and nostalgia -- Nabokov's first novel. In a Berlin rooming house filled with an assortment of serio-comic Russian émigrés, Lev Ganin, a vigorous young officer poised between his past and his future, relives his first love affair. His memories of Mary are suffused with the freshness of youth and the idyllic ambiance of pre-revolutionary Russia. In stark contrast is the decidedly unappealing boarder living in the room next to Ganin's, who, he discovers, is Mary's husband, temporarily separated from her by the Revolution but expecting her imminent arrival from Russia.