Road Stories, Journalism, and Essays

ISBN-10: 1590173619
ISBN-13: 9781590173619
Edition: 2010
List price: $17.95 Buy it from $7.50
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Description: The writer whom Vasily Grossman loved most of all was Anton Chekhov. Grossmanrs"s own short stories are no less accomplished than his novels, and they are remarkably varied. "The Dog" is about the first living creature to be sent into space and then  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: New York Review of Books, Incorporated, The
Publication date: 9/28/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

The writer whom Vasily Grossman loved most of all was Anton Chekhov. Grossmanrs"s own short stories are no less accomplished than his novels, and they are remarkably varied. "The Dog" is about the first living creature to be sent into space and then returned to Earth. "The Road," an account of the war from a mule in an Italian artillery regiment, can be read as a 4,000-word distillation of Life and Fate. "Mother" is based on a true story about an orphaned girl who was adopted by Nikolay Yezhov (head of the NKVD at the height of the Great Terror) and his wife; it includes brief portraits of Stalin and several important Soviet writers and politicians-all of them as seen through the eyes of the little girl or of her honest but uncomprehending peasant nanny. As well as a dozen stories-from "In the Town of Berdichev" (Grossmanrs"s first published success) to "In Kislovodsk" (the last story he wrote)-this volume includes an unusual article about the life of a Moscow cemetery. It also contains two letters Grossman wrote to his mother, after her death at the hands of the Nazis, and the complete text of "The Hell of Treblinka," one of the very first, and still among the most powerful, accounts of a Nazi death camp.

Grossman, a graduate in physics and mathematics from Moscow University, worked first as a chemical engineer and became a published writer during the mid-1930s. His early stories and novel deal with such politically orthodox themes as the struggle against the tsarist regime, the civil war, and the building of the new society. Grossman served as a war correspondent during World War II, publishing a series of sketches and stories about his experiences. Along with Ehrenburg, he edited the suppressed documentary volume on the fate of Soviet Jews, The Black Book. In 1952 the first part of his new novel, For the Good of the Cause, appeared and was sharply criticized for its depiction of the war. The censor rejected another novel, Forever Flowing (1955), which was circulated in samizdat and published in the West. The secret police confiscated a sequel to For the Good of the Cause, the novel Life and Fate, in 1961, but a copy was smuggled abroad and published in 1970. Grossman's books were issued in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and have met with both admiration and, on part of the nationalist right wing, considerable hostility.

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