“It’s a remarkable and fun collection, with original illustrations by his brother Nikolay, some of them delightfully saucy…it was this impatient, comic exuberance that supplied the momentum to keep [Anton Chekhov] going at a more measured, considered pace later on. And there are jokes that will still make you laugh.” —Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
“Chekhov selected the 12 stories gathered here for publication in what he intended to be his first collection in 1882, but the book was suppressed by censors. Now NYRB has printed the stories, together with illustrations by Chekhov’s brother Nikolay, in one of the most oddly fascinating documents to emerge from the publisher’s extraordinary catalogue. It is a rare peek into the tastes of the 19th-century Russian public and the juvenilia of a canonized writer.” — Publishers Weekly
“The celebrated style of the American short story (think John Cheever, Andre Dubus) would not exist without [Chekhov], and American readers and lovers of…
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