Anton Chekhov

Trade Paper – $26.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1795-2
Publication Date
September 2000
Page Count
674 pages
Trim Size
6 1/8 x 9 1/4

Anton Chekhov

A Life
Donald Rayfield

Anton Chekhov's life was short, intense, and dominated by battles, both with his dependents and with the tuberculosis that killed him at age forty-four. The traditional image of Chekhov is that of the restrained artist torn between medicine and literature. But Donald Rayfield's biography reveals the life long hidden behind the noble facade. Here is a man capable of both great generosity toward needy peasants and harsh callousness toward lovers and family, a man who craved with equal passion the company of others and the solitude necessary to create his art. Based on information from Chekhov archives throughout Russia, Rayfield's work has been hailed as a groundbreaking examination of the life of a literary master.A new biography of the great author and playwright.
About the Author

Donald Rayfield (born 1942) is professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary, University of London. He is an author of books about Russian and Georgian literature, and about Joseph Stalin and his secret police. He is also a series editor for books about Russian writers and intelligentsia.
"Without question the definitive biography of Chekhov, and like to remain so for a very long time to come. . . . [Rayfield] captures a likeness of the notoriously elusive Chekhov, which at last begins to seem recognizably human--and even more extraordinary." --Michael Frayn
"Full of fascinating surprises. It is hard to imagine another book about Chekhov after this one. . . . A sculpted likeness of a most human genius shown in the context of his time." --Arthur Miller
"The life Rayfield describes is no less impressive for having a flawed, at times unsympathetic, figure at its center. And his restraint in presenting his controversial new findings--along with the sheer quantity of fresh material he has amassed--is finally what makes his portrait so persuasive. His clear-eyed, critical sympathy for his less-than-perfect subject might have been borrowed from Chekhov's own writing." --New York Times Book Review