Brilliant stories which show the growth of a novelist's mind, and the raw material which fed the wild surrealism of Bulgakov's later fiction
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940) was born and educated in Kiev where he graduated as a doctor in 1916. He rapidly abandoned medicine to write some of the greatest Russian literature of this century. After a lifetime at odds with the stultifying Soviet regime, he died impoverished and blind in 1940, shortly after completing his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. None of his major fiction was published during his lifetime.
"These straighforward yet extraordinary sketches gain their strength from also being the account of a young man's growth. One begins to see that he became a novelist not because he had material but because he was storing up passion and temperament."-- V.S. Pritchett, New Statesman"Stories as keen and bright as a scalpel... Courage shines from every angle of this profoundly human collection by the greatest of modern Russian writers."--Sunday Times