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About the book
  • Published: 3 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099541066
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $14.99

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories




Magnificent new translation of Tolstoy’ fiction by the acclaimed duo behind War and Peace

The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the masterpieces of Tolstoy’s late fiction and the first major fictional work to be published by the author after his crisis and conversion to Christianity. The story of the life and death at the age of forty-five, of a high court prosecutor in 19th-century Russia, it is an intense and moving examination of loss and the possibilities of redemption, in which Tolstoy explores the dichotomy between the artificial and the authentic life.The nine other stories in this new collection include ‘Hadji Murat’ which has been described by Harold Bloom as ‘the best story in the world’ and ‘The Devil’, a tale of sexual obsession based on Tolstoy’s own relationship with a married peasant woman on his estate in the years before his marriage.

Magnificently translated by the acclaimed translating team behind War and Peace, this new volume captures the richness and immediacy of Tolstoy’s language and reveals the author as a passionate moral guide, an unflinching seeker of truth, and a creator of enduring and universal art.

  • Pub date: 3 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099541066
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • 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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Praise for The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

“Tolstoy's prose is majestic, his pace measured, his characters unflinchingly true to life, his message bleak”

Guardian

“The simplicity and power of this novella, the story of the terrible encroachment of death on a shallow man spiritually unprepared for it, has staggered millions”

Sunday Telegraph

“I don't read Russian, but I think Tolstoy's writing comes over whatever translation you read...he wrote the great, terrible story The Death of Ivan Illyich”

Redmond O'Hanlon, Independent

“For me, the best insight into the process of dying comes from Leo Tolstoy in his short story, The Death of Ivan Ilych, which examines the life and death of the most ordinary man”

Oliver James, Mail on Sunday

“A fitting monument to Tolstoy's battles with what it is that makes us human”

Philip Womack, Observer


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