Anna Karenina (Paperback)
A well respected translator of Russian fiction, Schwartz was determined to give us Anna Karenina as Tolstoy wrote it: In the simple, unadorned language he preferred. I found this translation immensely powerful - bringing me to tears at times. It is also illuminating -revealing nuances in the characters I'd never before grasped. The cogent introduction by Gary Saul Morson, which summarizes the novel's central themes, provides a great starting point for book club discussion.— Samantha
Leo Tolstoy's psychological novel Anna Karenina follows the life of the enchanting and rebellious Anna who seeks to break free from the shackles of society. Set in late 19th century Russia, Anna is portrayed as an ideal, cultivated aristocratic wife, mother and model for women alike.
Although at first glance she seems to have it all in life, Anna yearns for love and affection- something her cold diplomatic husband cannot provide. She grows discontent of their loveless relationship, and is tired of the fa ade she has been putting up in order to sustain a positive social image. A chance encounter with the charming and irresistibly handsome Vronsky sparks Anna's desire for love and consequently results in her entering the waters of infidelity. However, the honey moon stage of their relationship comes to an end, and things take an unsuspected turn of events, as the inescapable consequences of their affair come to surface. Scorn, exile, jealousy, isolation and suspicion are just some of the issues Anna must face in day to day life. Similarly her acquaintance, Levin, who is an independent and somewhat social misfit, is also struggling to find his place in society as he neither identifies himself as an intellectual, bureaucrat, rebel, nor socialite. He too is on the hunt for the promised fruits of life and individual happiness. His up and down union with Kitty and their inconsistent feelings towards each other acts as a contrast to the evolving relationship between Vronsky and Anna.
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