Road - Short Fiction and Essays
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By the author of Life and Fate, now a major Radio 4 drama starring Kenneth Branagh. Vasily Grossman is widely recognized as one of the outstanding literary figures of the twentieth century. The short fiction collected here - satire, comedy, tragedy and pure narrative - illustrate the remarkable breadth of his work, and demonstrate all the bold intelligence, delicate irony and extraordinary vividness for which he has become known. In addition to the eleven stories, this volume includes the complete text of 'The Hell of Treblinka', one of the first descriptions of a Nazi extermination camp; a powerful and harrowing piece of journalism written only weeks after the camp was dissolved. Beautifully illuminated by Robert Chandler's introductions and endnotes, with photographs from the family archive, and an Afterword by Grossman's stepson, Fyodor Guber.''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. ''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. ''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. ... 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. 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. ''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. ''Readers familiar with his novels will be surprised by his short fiction. They show a writer of infinite variety' Victor Sebestyen, The Sunday Times. ''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. 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. ''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.