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
Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs, who was 16 years his junior on September 23, 1862. Her family and friends called her Sonya which is the Russian diminutive of Sofia. Tolstoy and Sophia had thirteen children, five of whom did not survive childhood. On the eve of their marriage, Tolstoy gave her his diaries which had details about his extensive sexual past and the secret son whom one of the serfs had borne him. Despite this, they enjoyed a happy start to the marriage. She was supportive of Tolstoy as she acted as his secretary, editor, and financial manager for his works: War and Peace and Anna Karenina. She was copying and handwriting his epic works time after time. Unlike the first years of their marriage, their later life together was unhappy. As Tolstoy's beliefs became more radical, his relationship with his wife deteriorated. These radical beliefs made him seek to reject his inherited and earned wealth and renounce the copyrights on his earlier works. The aftermath of the 1905 Russian Revolution and subsequent establishment of the Soviet Union made some of the members of the Tolstoy family leave Russia. This is why a number of Tolstoy's relatives can be found in Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the United States.