A book judged so dangerous in the Soviet Union that not only the manuscript but the ribbons on which it had been typed were confiscated by the state, Life and Fate is an epic tale of World War II and a profound reckoning with the dark forces that dominated the twentieth century. Interweaving a transfixing account of the battle of Stalingrad with the story of a single middle-class family, the Shaposhnikovs, scattered by fortune from Germany to Siberia, Vasily Grossman fashions an immense, intricately detailed tapestry depicting a time of almost unimaginable horror and even stranger hope. Life and Fate juxtaposes bedrooms and snipers' nests, scientific laboratories and the Gulag, taking us deep into the hearts and minds of characters ranging from a boy on his way to the gas chambers to Hitler and Stalin themselves. This novel of unsparing realism and visionary moral intensity is one of the supreme achievements of modern Russian literature.
This hilarious, brilliantly inventive novel by the author of tells the story of a scroungy Moscow mongrel named Sharik. Thanks to the skills of a renowned Soviet scientist and the transplanted pituitary gland and testes of a petty criminal, Sharik is transformed into a lecherous, vulgar man who spouts Engels and inevitably finds his niche in the bureaucracy as the government official in charge of purging the city of cats.
This collection of Platonov’s short fiction brings together seven works drawn from the whole of his career. It includes the harrowing novella (“Soul”), in which a young man returns to his Asian birthplace to find his people deprived not only of food and dwelling, but of memory and speech, and “The Potudan River,” Platonov’s most celebrated story.
Two Captains is one of the most renowned novel of the Russian writer Veniamin Kaverin. The plot spans from 1912 to 1944. The real prototype for Captain Tatarinov was Lieutenant Georgii Brusilov, who in 1912 organized a privately funded expedition seeking a west-to-east Northern sea route. The steamship "St. Anna," specially built for the expedition, left Petersburg on 28 July 1912. Near the shores of Yamal peninsula it was seized by ice and carried in the ice drift to the north of the Kara Sea. The expedition survived two hard winters. Of the 14 people who left the stranded steamship in 1914, only two made it to one of the islands of Frants-Joseph Land and were spotted and taken aboard "St. Foka", the ship of the expedition of G.Y.Sedov. The ship log they had kept with them contained the most important of the scientific data, after the study of which Sedov's expedition found the previously unknown island in the Kara Sea, Vize Island. The ultimate fate of "St.Anna" and its remaining crew is still unknown. In 1946 his novel Two Captains became the winner of the USSR State Literature Award.
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