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Part One - The 1930s: Introduction; In the Town of Berdichev; A Small Life; A Young Woman and an Old Woman. Part Two - The War, The Shoah: Introduction; The Old Man; The Old Teacher; The Hell of Treblinka; The Sistine Madonna. Part Three - Late Stories: Introduction; The Elk; Mama; Living Space; The Road; The Dog; In Kislovodsk. Part Four - Three Letters: Introduction; Letter 1950; Letter 1961. Part Five - Eternal Rest: Introduction; Eternal Rest. Appendices: Grossman and Treblinka; Natalya Khayutina and the Yezhovs; Afterword by Fyodor Guber; Chronology; Notes; Further Reading; Translator's acknowledgements; About the author; About the translators.
Vasily Grossman was born in 1905 into a Jewish family in Ukraine. Life and Fate, his masterpiece, was considered a threat to the totalitarian regime, and Grossman was told that there was no chance of the novel being published for another 200 years. He died in 1964. Robert and Elizabeth Chandler have together translated the works of Andrey Platonov and Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman. Robert is the translator of Grossman's Life and Fate and the author of Alexander Pushkin (Hesperus, 2009).
This collection of short fiction and essays from the remarkable and criminally under-read Soviet writer includes haunting short stories and his excoriating wartime expose of the Treblinka death camp' Benjamin Evans, Sunday Telegraph. * Sunday Telegraph * ''The unstinting championing of ordinary human emotion is what strikes hardest in Grossman's style ... Grossman manages to find human simplicity in his characters at the very apex of pain and disaster' Daily Telegraph. * Daily Telegraph * The only subject and the only hope is humanity' Brian Morton, Scottish Sunday Herald. * Scottish Sunday Herald * The mystery of how to improve the human condition continued to fascinate him and is profoundly reflected in Grossman's superb writings - an enduring memorial to the man' Geoffrey Goodman, Tribune. * Tribune * ''Readers familiar with his novels will be surprised by his short fiction. They show a writer of infinite variety' Victor Sebestyen, Sunday Times. * Sunday Times * No one knew better than Grossman what people are capable of. These stories and essays are one of the cultural monuments of the 20th century' David Herman, New Statesman. * New Statesman * ''Grossman's stories are so affecting partly because they look so unflinchingly at human nature, combining a journalist's eye with a fascination for humanity enduring under near-intolerable circumstances.' Metro. * Metro * ''For today's reader, Grossman's work excavates from the Soviet rubble vital artefacts of the bitter, the tragic, the self-sacrificing, the indomitable and, ultimately, the inspiring' Ken Kalfus, International Herald Tribune. * International Herald Tribune * ''From satire to comedy and tragedy this is a fantastic collection translated into English for the first time. Including Stalin's purges and the Holocaust, these short stories and articles are accompanied by introductions that put Grossman's life into context' Daily Express. * Daily Express * ''The collection has humour, pathos, satire and tragedy. Grossman's superlative ability is to relay through sparse writing the fear, anxiety and compassion of those he writes of. This is an utterly absorbing, compassionate and necessary collection and once read will linger and cause true reflection, as the best writing ought.' Journal of the Law Society of Scotland. * Journal of the Law Society of Scotland * ... it has become accepted that Vasily Grossman was one of the giants of 20th Century literature. This anthology of his stories and journalism, brilliantly translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, charts his growing disillusionment with communism as well as his frontline role in the war against the Nazis' Mail on Sunday. * Mail on Sunday * ''This superbly edited compendium of his writing, containing short stories, journalism and letters to his dead mother, allows us to access the nature and success of his enterprise. Through its lucid notes and essays it also serves as a first-class companion to the terrible history of mid-20th-century central Europe.' Jewish Chronicle. * Jewish Chronicle * ...his vivid dispatches, some newly translated for this superb collection, retain a freshness that only the finest journalism can. The 11 short stories also collected here show a writer of infinite variety, and the bulk of them will enhance his reputation ... his is a powerful voice of conscience' Sunday Times. * Sunday Times * ''Grossman's trajectory is clear in his short fiction and essays: early essays explore the ardent patriotism that fired Russia; later ones such as the title story, 'The Road', an allegory of a beaten mule pulling a munitions train that offers a bitter reflection on life, hint at dangerous disillusionment ... The Road is an excellent introduction to Grossman's hauntingly powerful fiction and reportage' James Urquhart, Financial Times. * Financial Times * a richness and clarity to a fascinating period and define Grossman as one of the great literary figures of the last century' Good Book Guide. * Good Book Guide * 'Grossman deserves a special, if not revered, place as a recorder of some of the worst excesses of the 20th century - indeed, of any century. A casual reader may be lured into thinking this to be a collection of fictional short stories depicting the hardships and privations of Soviet life. But on page 126 comes an abrupt and horrifying awakening ... 'The Hell of Treblinka' ... nothing prepares us for the force of Grossman's description; his detailed, harrowing reconstruction of what happened' Scotsman. * Scotsman *