Leskov's stories of Russian life are explosions of imagination. Peopled by outsized characters including serfs, princes, Gypsy girls, horse dealers, nomadic Tartars and garrulous storytellers, Leskov's writing exuberantly fables the national character of his age.
Leskov's stories of Russian life are explosions of imagination. Peopled by outsized characters including serfs, princes, Gypsy girls, horse dealers, nomadic Tartars and garrulous storytellers, Leskov's writing exuberantly fables the national character of his age. For the first time, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's translation brings Leskov's original storytelling and irresistible voice to life.
Nikolai Leskov was born in 1831 in the village of Gorokhovo in Russia. He began his writing career as a journalist living in Kiev, and later settled in St. Petersburg. He published his first piece of fiction in 1862 in The Northern Bee, and continued on to write and publish many short stories and novellas, including The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1865), The Sealed Angel (1873), The Enchanted Wanderer (1873), and Lefty (1882). He died in February 1895.
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have translated works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Gogol. They were twice awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation prize. They live in Paris.
"I don't know why Nikolai Leskov is not better known: he's one of the best... You don't just feel the falling snowflakes and smell the hay - you glimpse where God might be" -- Sara Wheeler Observer "Nikolai Leskov is one of the greatest and most popular of the wonderful group of Russian storytellers who flourished in the nineteenth century" New York Times Book Review "Serious criticism ignored him but his tales succeeded instantly with the public... No-one catches so truthfully the diversity of national character of his time. His variety is astonishing... Leskov has both feet in life" -- V.S. Pritchett "On Lady Macbbeth of Mtensk: 'Short, sharp and shocking novel...It is a strikingly modern work, a sort of souped-up Madame Bovary in which the anti-heroine, the bored provincial housewife Katerina Lvovna Izmailova, is gripped by an excessive passion for a seductive farmhand. She's hardboiled as any Chandler dame as her ardour for her low-born lover takes her down a jet-black road of cruelty and murder'" -- Sunday Telegraph "Nikolai Leskov fully deserves the privilege of standing in line with such makers of Russian literature as Tolstoi, Gogol, Turgenev and Goncharov. In power and beauty, Leskov's talent cedes only a little to the talent of any one of these men I have named - the creators of the Holy Bible of the Russian land - but in breadth of exposition, in depth of understanding of life's riddles, and in knowledge of the Russian language, he very often surpasses his predecessors and fellow writers" -- Maxim Gorky