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Life and Fate

Life and Fate

Author: Vasily Grossman
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176545
Pages: 896
Year: 2012-06-13
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.
Everything Flows

Everything Flows

Author: Vasily Grossman
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590173899
Pages: 272
Year: 2010-05-05
A New York Review Books Original Everything Flows is Vasily Grossman’s final testament, written after the Soviet authorities suppressed his masterpiece, Life and Fate. The main story is simple: released after thirty years in the Soviet camps, Ivan Grigoryevich must struggle to find a place for himself in an unfamiliar world. But in a novel that seeks to take in the whole tragedy of Soviet history, Ivan’s story is only one among many. Thus we also hear about Ivan’s cousin, Nikolay, a scientist who never let his conscience interfere with his career, and Pinegin, the informer who got Ivan sent to the camps. Then a brilliant short play interrupts the narrative: a series of informers steps forward, each making excuses for the inexcusable things that he did—inexcusable and yet, the informers plead, in Stalinist Russia understandable, almost unavoidable. And at the core of the book, we find the story of Anna Sergeyevna, Ivan’s lover, who tells about her eager involvement as an activist in the Terror famine of 1932–33, which led to the deaths of three to five million Ukrainian peasants. Here Everything Flows attains an unbearable lucidity comparable to the last cantos of Dante’s Inferno.
An Armenian Sketchbook

An Armenian Sketchbook

Author: Vasily Grossman
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176359
Pages: 160
Year: 2013-02-19
An NYRB Classics Original Few writers had to confront as many of the last century’s mass tragedies as Vasily Grossman, who wrote with terrifying clarity about the Shoah, the Battle of Stalingrad, and the Terror Famine in the Ukraine. An Armenian Sketchbook, however, shows us a very different Grossman, notable for his tenderness, warmth, and sense of fun. After the Soviet government confiscated—or, as Grossman always put it, “arrested”—Life and Fate, he took on the task of revising a literal Russian translation of a long Armenian novel. The novel was of little interest to him, but he needed money and was evidently glad of an excuse to travel to Armenia. An Armenian Sketchbook is his account of the two months he spent there. This is by far the most personal and intimate of Grossman’s works, endowed with an air of absolute spontaneity, as though he is simply chatting to the reader about his impressions of Armenia—its mountains, its ancient churches, its people—while also examining his own thoughts and moods. A wonderfully human account of travel to a faraway place, An Armenian Sketchbook also has the vivid appeal of a self-portrait.
The Case of Comrade Tulayev

The Case of Comrade Tulayev

Author: Victor Serge
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174267
Pages: 400
Year: 2011-03-09
One cold Moscow night, Comrade Tulayev, a high government official, is shot dead on the street, and the search for the killer begins. In this panoramic vision of the Soviet Great Terror, the investigation leads all over the world, netting a whole series of suspects whose only connection is their innocence—at least of the crime of which they stand accused. But The Case of Comrade Tulayev, unquestionably the finest work of fiction ever written about the Stalinist purges, is not just a story of a totalitarian state. Marked by the deep humanity and generous spirit of its author, the legendary anarchist and exile Victor Serge, it is also a classic twentieth-century tale of risk, adventure, and unexpected nobility to set beside Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and André Malraux's Man's Fate.
Fighting for Life

Fighting for Life

Author: S. Josephine Baker
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590177061
Pages: 264
Year: 2013
"New York's lower east side was said to be the most densely populated square mile on the face of the earth in the 1890s. City health inspectors called the neighborhood "the suicide ward" and referred to one particular tenement--in an official Health Department report, no less--as an "out and out hog pen." Diarrhea epidemics raged each summer, killing thousands of city children. Sweatshop babies with smallpox and typhus dozed in garment heaps destined for fashionable Broadway shops. Desperate mothers paced the streets to soothe their feverish children, and white mourning cloths hung from every building. A third of children living in the slums died before their fifth birthday. By 1911, the child death rate had fallen sharply and The New York Times hailed the city as the healthiest on earth. In this witty and highly personal autobiography, public health crusader Dr. Sara Josephine Baker explains how this remarkable transformation was achieved. By the time she retired from the New York City Health Department in 1923, Baker was famous worldwide for saving the lives of 90,000 children. The public health programs Baker developed, many still in use today, have probably saved the lives of millions more. She also fought for women's suffrage, toured Russia in the 1930s, and captured "Typhoid" Mary Malone, twice. She was also an astute observer of her times, and Fighting for Life is one of the most honest, compassionate memoirs of American medicine ever written"--Provided by publisher.
The Gray Notebook

The Gray Notebook

Author: Josep Pla
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176715
Pages: 638
Year: 2013
The first part of the book, which begins on March 8, 1918, is a story of family life on the Costa Brava and the coming-of-age story of a young man torn between an old-fashioned ideal of a life of quiet dedication to work and family and the intellectual seductions of European culture. Pla's enthusiasms and uncertainties, friendships and crushes, his reading, the drama and politics and absurdity of family life-we are drawn into all these as we also follow Pla in his wanderings through town, scrutinizing his fellow citizens, or out under the magnificent skies of the still-unspoiled countryside of the coast. In January 1919, Pla returns to Barcelona to complete his studies, and the book's second part paints a hilariously revealing picture of student life. He learns next to nothing from his teachers, a good deal more from the writers and artists he meets in cafés and salons, and most of all from Barcelona itself, with its night life and ramblas, the city of Gaudi and Modernisme, where just outside the city limits the seemingly timeless life of the country still went on as before.
Happy Moscow

Happy Moscow

Author: Andrey Platonov
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590175859
Pages: 266
Year: 2012
Works originally written ca. 1930s-1950s.
The Road

The Road

Author: Vasily Grossman
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174097
Pages: 384
Year: 2010-09-28
The Road rings together short stories, journalism, essays, and letters by Vasily Grossman, the author of Life and Fate, providing new insight into the life and work of this extraordinary writer. The stories range from Grossman’s first success, “In the Town of Berdichev,” a piercing reckoning with the cost of war, to such haunting later works as “Mama,” based on the life of a girl who was adopted at the height of the Great Terror by the head of the NKVD and packed off to an orphanage after her father’s downfall. The girl grows up struggling with the discovery that the parents she cherishes in memory are part of a collective nightmare that everyone else wishes to forget. The Road also includes the complete text of Grossman’s harrowing report from Treblinka, one of the first anatomies of the workings of a death camp; “The Sistine Madonna,” a reflection on art and atrocity; as well as two heartbreaking letters that Grossman wrote to his mother after her death at the hands of the Nazis and carried with him for the rest of his life. Meticulously edited and presented by Robert Chandler, The Road allows us to see one of the great figures of twentieth-century literature discovering his calling both as a writer and as a man.
The Foundation Pit

The Foundation Pit

Author: Andreĭ Platonovich Platonov, Robert Chandler
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590173058
Pages: 224
Year: 2009
Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler and Olga Meerson With notes and an afterword by Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson In Andrey Platonov’s The Foundation Pit, a team of workers has been given the job of digging the foundation of an immense edifice, a palatial home for the perfect future that, they are convinced, is at hand. But the harder the team works, the deeper they dig, the more things go wrong, and it becomes clear that what is being dug is not a foundation but an immense grave. The Foundation Pit is Platonov’s most overtly political book, written in direct response to the staggering brutalities of Stalin’s collectivization of Russian agriculture. It is also a literary masterpiece. Seeking to evoke unspeakable realities, Platonov deforms and transforms language in pages that echo both with the alienating doublespeak of power and the stark simplicity of prayer. This English translation is the first and only one to be based on the definitive edition published by Pushkin House in Moscow. It includes extensive notes and, in an appendix, several striking passages deleted by Platonov. Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson’s afterword discusses the historical context and style of Platonov’s most haunted and troubling work.
Forever Flowing

Forever Flowing

Author: Vasiliĭ Semenovich Grossman
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
ISBN: 0810115034
Pages: 247
Year: 1972
The novel tells the story of Ivan Grigoryevich, who has returned to Russia after thirty years in the Gulag. After short and unsatisfying visits to familiar places and persons in Moscow and Leningrad, the hero settles in a southern provincial town where he briefly establishes a new life with a war widow. Ivan Grigoryevich eventually returns to his boyhood home on the Black Sea, where he is finally able to come to terms with the inhumanity of the new Russian regime.
Stalingrad

Stalingrad

Author: Vasily Grossman
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681373289
Pages: 800
Year: 2019-05-14
The prequel to Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate, the War and Peace of the 20th Century, now in English for the first time. Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate has been hailed as a twentieth-century War and Peace. However, Life and Fate is only the second half of a two-part work, the first half of which was published in 1952. Grossman wanted to call this earlier work Stalingrad--as it will be in this first English translation--but it was published as For a Just Cause. The characters in both novels are largely the same and so is the story line; Life and Fate picks up where Stalingrad ends, in late September 1942. The first novel is in no way inferior to Life and Fate; the chapters about the Shaposhnikov family are both tender and witty, and the battle scenes are vivid and moving. One of the most memorable chapters of Life and Fate is the last letter written from a Jewish ghetto by Viktor Shtrum's mother--a powerful lament for East European Jewry. The words of this letter do not appear in Stalingrad, yet the letter's presence makes itself powerfully felt and it is mentioned many times. We learn who carries it across the front lines, who passes it on to whom, and how it eventually reaches Viktor. Grossman describes the difficulty Viktor experiences in reading it and his inability to talk about it even to his family. The absence of the letter itself is eloquent--as if its contents are too awful for anyone to take in.
The Book of Blam

The Book of Blam

Author: Aleksandar Tisma
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 159017920X
Pages: 248
Year: 2016
The Book of Blam, Aleksandar Tisma's "extended kaddish . . . [his] masterpiece" (Kirkus Reviews), is a modern-day retelling of the book of Job. The war is over. Miroslav Blam walks along the former Jew Street, and he remembers. He remembers Aaron Grün, the hunchbacked watchmaker; and Eduard Fiker, a lamp merchant; and Jakob Mentele, a stove fitter; and Arthur Spitzer, a grocer, who played amateur soccer and had non-Jewish friends; and Sándor Vértes, a lawyer who was a Communist. All dead. As are his younger sister and his best friend, a Serb, both of whom joined the resistance movement; and his mother and father in the infamous Novi Sad raid in January 1942--when the Hungarian Arrow Cross executed 1,400 Jews and Serbs on the banks of the Danube and tossed them into the river. Blam lives. The war he survived will never be over for him.
The Bones of Berdichev

The Bones of Berdichev

Author: John Gordon Garrard
Publisher:
ISBN:
Pages: 437
Year: 1996
Chronicles the life Vasily Grossman, a Russian Jew and World War II correspondent for the Soviet Army, who evolved from a Marxist supporter into a passionate critic of the new regime and whose voice can finally be heard without the threat of Soviet retaliation. 12,000 first printing.
Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me

Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me

Author: Teffi
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590179978
Pages: 224
Year: 2016-05-03
Early in her literary career Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya, born in St. Petersburg in 1872, adopted the pen-name of Teffi, and it is as Teffi that she is remembered. In prerevolutionary Russia she was a literary star, known for her humorous satirical pieces; in the 1920s and 30s, she wrote some of her finest stories in exile in Paris, recalling her unforgettable encounters with Rasputin, and her hopeful visit at age thirteen to Tolstoy after reading War and Peace. In this selection of her best autobiographical stories, she covers a wide range of subjects, from family life to revolution and emigration, writers and writing. Like Nabokov, Platonov, and other great Russian prose writers, Teffi was a poet who turned to prose but continued to write with a poet’s sensitivity to tone and rhythm. Like Chekhov, she fuses wit, tragedy, and a remarkable capacity for observation; there are few human weaknesses she did not relate to with compassion and understanding.
A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising

A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising

Author: Miron Bialoszewski
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176979
Pages: 288
Year: 2015-10-27
On August 1, 1944, Miron Białoszewski, later to gain renown as one of Poland’s most innovative poets, went out to run an errand for his mother and ran into history. With Soviet forces on the outskirts of Warsaw, the Polish capital revolted against five years of Nazi occupation, an uprising that began in a spirit of heroic optimism. Sixty-three days later it came to a tragic end. The Nazis suppressed the insurgents ruthlessly, reducing Warsaw to rubble while slaughtering some 200,000 people, mostly through mass executions. The Red Army simply looked on. Białoszewski’s blow-by-blow account of the uprising brings it alive in all its desperate urgency. Here we are in the shoes of a young man slipping back and forth under German fire, dodging sniper bullets, collapsing with exhaustion, rescuing the wounded, burying the dead. An indispensable and unforgettable act of witness, A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising is also a major work of literature. Białoszewski writes in short, stabbing, splintered, breathless sentences attuned to “the glaring identity of ‘now.’” His pages are full of a white-knuckled poetry that resists the very destruction it records. Madeline G. Levine has extensively revised her 1977 translation, and passages that were unpublishable in Communist Poland have been restored.