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  • Published: 15 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780307951335
  • Imprint: Knopf US
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 64
  • RRP: $14.99

The Death Of Ivan Ilyich

Little Black Classics




Laying humanity bare, these two devastating stories ask: is it possible to have a good death? And what does it mean to truly live?

Tolstoy’s most famous novella is an intense and moving examination of death and the possibilities of redemption, here in a powerful translation by the award-winning Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Ivan Ilyich is a middle-aged man who has spent his life focused on his career as a bureaucrat and emotionally detached from his wife and children. After an accident he finds himself on the brink of an untimely death, which he sees as a terrible injustice. Face to face with his mortality, Ivan begins to question everything he has believed about the meaning of life. The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a masterpiece of psychological realism and philosophical profundity that has inspired generations of readers.

  • Published: 15 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780307951335
  • Imprint: Knopf US
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 64
  • RRP: $14.99

About the author

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia in 1828. He studied Oriental languages and law (although failed to earn a degree in the latter) at the University of Kazan, and after a dissolute youth eventually joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He took part in the Crimean War, and the Sebastopol Sketches that emerged from it established his reputation. After living for some time in St Petersburg and abroad, he married Sophie Behrs in 1862 and they had thirteen children. The happiness this brought him gave him the creative impulse for his two greatest novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Later in life his views became increasingly radical as he gave up his possessions to live a simple peasant life. After a quarrel with his wife he fled home secretly one night to seek refuge in a monastery. He became ill during this dramatic flight and died at the small railway station of Astapovo in 1910.

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