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Life and Fate [Paperback]

By Vasily Grossman, Robert Chandler (Introduction by), Claire Throp (Editor), Peter Hicks (Translator), Ryan Anderson (Narrator), David Hilliard, Becky Freeman & B. Teissier (Editor)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   896
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.02" Width: 5.36" Height: 1.87"
Weight:   2.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 16, 2006
Publisher   NYRB Classics
ISBN  1590172019  
EAN  9781590172018  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
A book judged so dangerous in the Soviet Union that not only the manuscript but the ribbons on which it had been typed were confiscated by the state, Life and Fate is an epic tale of World War II and a profound reckoning with the dark forces that dominated the twentieth century.
Interweaving a transfixing account of the battle of Stalingrad with the story of a single middle-class family, the Shaposhnikovs, scattered by fortune from Germany to Siberia, Vasily Grossman fashions an immense, intricately detailed tapestry depicting a time of almost unimaginable horror and even stranger hope.
Life and Fate juxtaposes bedrooms and snipers' nests, scientific laboratories and the Gulag, taking us deep into the hearts and minds of characters ranging from a boy on his way to the gas chambers to Hitler and Stalin themselves.
This novel of unsparing realism and visionary moral intensity is one of the supreme achievements of modern Russian literature.

Buy Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman, Robert Chandler, Claire Throp, Peter Hicks, Ryan Anderson, David Hilliard, Becky Freeman & B. Teissier from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781590172018 & 1590172019

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More About Vasily Grossman, Robert Chandler, Claire Throp, Peter Hicks, Ryan Anderson, David Hilliard, Becky Freeman & B. Teissier

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Vasily Semyonovich Grossman was born on December 12, 1905, in Berdichev, a Ukrainian town that was home to one of Europe's largest Jewish communities. In 1934 he published both "In the Town of Berdichev"--a short story that won the admiration of such diverse writers as Maksim Gorky, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Isaak Babel--and a novel, Glyukauf, about the life of the Donbass miners. During the Second World War, Grossman worked as a reporter for the army newspaper Red Star, covering nearly all of the most important battles from the defense of Moscow to the fall of Berlin. His vivid yet sober "The Hell of Treblinka" (late 1944), one of the first articles in any language about a Nazi death camp, was translated and used as testimony in the Nuremberg trials. His novel For a Just Cause (originally titled Stalingrad) was published to great acclaim in 1952 and then fiercely attacked. A new wave of purges--directed against the Jews--was about to begin; but for Stalin's death, in March 1953, Grossman would almost certainly have been arrested himself. During the next few years Grossman, while enjoying public success, worked on his two masterpieces, neither of which was to be published in Russia until the late 1980s: Life and Fate and Everything Flows. The KGB confiscated the manuscript of Life and Fate in February 1961. Grossman was able, however, to continue working on Everything Flows, a novel even more critical of Soviet society than Life and Fate, until his last days in the hospital. He died on September 14, 1964, on the eve of the twenty-third anniversary of the massacre of the Jews of Berdichev in which his mother had died.
Robert Chandler is the author of Alexander Pushkin and the editor of two anthologies for Penguin Classics: Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida and Russian Magic Tales from
Pushkin to Platonov
. His translations of Sappho and Guillaume Apollinaire are published in the Everyman's Poetry series. His translations from Russian include Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate, Everything Flows, and The Road (all published by NYRB Classics); Leskov's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk; and Aleksander Pushkin's The Captain's Daughter. Together with Olga Meerson and his wife, Elizabeth, he has translated a number of works by Andrey Platonov. One of these, Soul, won the 2004 AATSEEL (American Association of Teachers of Slavonic and East European Languages) Prize. His translation of Hamid Ismailov's The Railway won the AATSEEL Prize for 2007 and received a special commendation from the judges of the 2007 Rossica Translation Prize.
Elizabeth Chandler is a co-translator, with her husband, of Pushkin's The Captain's Daughter; of Vasily Grossman's Everything Flows and The Road; and of several volumes of Andrey Platonov: The Return, The Portable Platonov, Happy Moscow, and Soul.
Yury Bit-Yunan was born in Bryansk, in western Russia. He graduated from the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, and completed his doctorate on the work of Vasily
Grossman. At present he is lecturing on literary criticism at the Russian State University while continuing to research Grossman's life and work.

Vasily Grossman was born in 1905 and died in 1964.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Simply amazing, unforgettable work  Oct 14, 2008
As an ardent reader of history, I was familar with the horrors perpetrated by Hitler and Stalin. But it took Grossman's "Life and Fate" to bring them to life. I almost hate to say it for fear of scaring readers off, but Grossman puts you there under the crushing weight of a society crafted by Stalinism, he puts you there in a Nazi death camp. As terriable as that sounds (and it is indeed), this book is simply too good not to be read. Its sweep and scope and rush of characters is pure Tolstoy. But Grossman combines this with an eye for detail that comes from his years as a reporter (he was a popular war correspondent in WWII) to make a thoroughly modern novel. Grossman shows how humans are capable of unspeakable cruelty and (almost as bad) indifference to each other, but also contain the ability to be caring and kind even to strangers they might have every reason to hate. If I had to recommend a handful of books as my top pics, this would definitely make the list.
 
Good but not Tolstoy  Jun 21, 2008
The story is really epic and introduces you to a new world. However I felt that some of the characters were more symbols than characters.
 
Genius of the highest order  Jun 7, 2008
This masterpiece published by New York Review of Books Classics enters my Top 5 among novels by James Joyce (Ulysses), Proust (La Recherche du Temps Perdu), Tolstoy (War and Peace) and Gaddis (JR): it is pure genius in its epic scope. Inspired by Tolstoy's War and Peace and the siege of Russia by Napoleon, Grossman depicts the siege of Stalingrad by Hitler. Grossman narrates the epic from the perspectives of diverse players into whose lives the reader becomes immersed. The cast is vast and the Russian names are daunting to track but Grossman enables us to understand what it was like to experience the fate of Russians in World War II. The catastrophe was overwhelming as millions of people's lives were adversely impacted by the power of two great warring states on the front lines of Stalingrad. Yet somehow the resourcefulness, courage, strength, faith and every virtue of her people, tested under the worst human conditions, Russia was able to withstand the siege of Hitler only to suffer subsequently the immense cruelty of Stalin. The writing in this novel is nothing short of magnificent: it is great literature and profound philosophy by a novelist who knew his subject thoroughly. It's no wonder that Stalin wanted not only the manuscript but its carbon copies because the truth evident in this novel was certainly starkly and baldly critical of the State. At the end of the novel an old woman, Alexandra Vladmirovna, who to me symbolized Mother Russia, returns to the ruins of her home in Stalingrad and admires the spring sky wondering: "why the future of those she loved was so obscure and the past so full of mistakes, not realizing that this very obscurity and unhappiness concealed a strange hope and clarity, not realizing that in the depths of her soul she already knew the meaning of both her life and the lives of her nearest and dearest, not realizing that even though neither she herself nor any of them could tell what was in store, even though they all knew too well that at times like these no man can forge his own happiness and that fate alone has the power to pardon and chastise, to raise up to glory and to plunge into need, to reduce a man to labour camp dust, nevertheless neither fate, nor history, nor the anger of the State, nor the glory or infamy of battle has any power to affect those who call themselves human beings. No, whatever life holds in store -- hard won glory, poverty and despair, or death in a labour camp --they live as human beings and die as human beings, the same as those who have already perished: and in this alone lies man's eternal and bitter victory over all the grandiose and inhuman forces that ever have been or ever will be..." The translation by Robert Chandler was as masterful as the original writing itself: Chandler was articulate, true to the text and humble in bringing to light without affectation or coyness or ego the profundity of this master work. I wish there had been maps of the front lines, which I found on the Internet to help me gain my bearings with unfamiliar geography at http://users.pandora.be/stalingrad/maps/stanlingrad map 7.htm. Having read War and Peace, Grossman gives the master, Tolstoy, a real run for his money in this epic: don't let this masterpiece pass you by! It's a novel fated to change your life.
 
A better than you'd expect soviet era novel  Apr 27, 2008
With the exception of Bulgakov I don't care much for Soviet literature. I could never finish Dr. Zhivago or Quiet Flows the Don. This book I did enjoy. Particularly the parts that dealt with the jewish physicist (I forgot his name) and his family. The letter he receives from his mother before she's deported is probably the most memorable part of the novel. Some people compare it to War and Peace. I wouldn't go that far but it is good enough that you might want to read it again as I plan to some day.
 
Matchless  Jan 10, 2008
One of the most relevant, startling and magnificent novels never read. Awe-inspiring from start to finish: for the characters themselves, their historical counterparts, the author's world and the world at large. Evokes the Greek idea of "necessity;" no understanding, truth without any value, no solid principles, no foundation. You don't read the story: you tumble through it, terrified, grasping blindly for something to stabilize the free fall.
 

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