Ivan Turgenev, 1818 - 1883 Novelist, poet and playwright, Ivan Turgenev, was born to a wealthy family in Oryol in the Ukraine region of Russia. He attended St. Petersburg University (1834-37) and Berlin University (1838-41), completing his master's exam at St. Petersburg. His career at the Russian Civil Service began in 1841. He worded for the Ministry of Interior from 1843-1845. In the 1840's, Turgenev began writing poetry, criticism, and short stories under Nikolay Gogol's influence. "A Sportsman's Sketches" (1852) were short pieces written from the point of view of a nobleman who learns to appreciate the wisdom of the peasants who live on his family's estate. This brought him a month of detention and eighteen months of house arrest. From 1853-62, he wrote stories and novellas, which include the titles "Rudin" (1856), "Dvorianskoe Gnedo" (1859), "Nakanune" (1860) and "Ottsy I Deti" (1862). Turgenev left Russia, in 1856, because of the hostile reaction to his work titled "Fathers and Sons" (1862). Turgenev finally settled in Paris. He became a corresponding member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in 1860 and Doctor of Civil Law at Oxford University in 1879. His last published work, "Poems in Prose," was a collection of meditations and anecdotes. On September 3, 1883, Turgenev died in Bougival, near Paris.
Peter Carson (1938-2013) was the editor in chief of Penguin UK and Profile Books and the translator of Fathers and Sons by Turgenev and the plays of Anton Chekhov. He lived in London until his death.
Tatyana Tolstaya---"the most original, tactile, luminous voice in Russian prose today," according to Joseph Brodsky---worked at various publishing jobs after graduating from Leningrad University and appeared on the Moscow literary scene in 1983 with the favorably received story "Loves Me, Loves Me Not." Her first collection, On the Golden Porch (1988), proved extremely popular. Soon afterward she came to the United States on the first of a series of visiting university appointments and has plunged actively into cultural life in this country: She writes for the New York Review of Books, the New Republic, The New Yorker, and other magazines, as well as for publications in Russia. Her forte is the short story, her writing distinguished by exuberance, a talent for description, a comic sensibility, and more than a touch of the surreal. For one reviewer, "the discrepancy between fondest desires and disappointing reality" lies at the core of her writing, which is "a fiction of vast possibility, propelled not by plot, but by a narrative voice that imaginatively conveys the ambiguities of her characters' inner lives" (Baltimore Morning Sun). Sleepwalker in a Fog (1991) is her second book.