An outsider by birth and instinct, the author was one of the most undeservedly neglected figures in Russian literature. He combined a profoundly religious spirit with a fascination for crime, an occasionally lurid imagination and a great love for the Russian vernacular. This volume includes a collection of his stories.
Nikolai Semyonovich Leskov was born in 1831 in Gorokhovo, Oryol Province and was orphaned early. In 1860 he became a journalist and moved to Petersburg where he published his first story. He subsequently wrote a number of folk legends and Christmas tales, along with a few anti-nihilistic novels which resulted in isolation from the literary circles of his day. He died in 1895.David McDuff is a translator of Russian and Nordic literature. His translations of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian prose classics (including works by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bely and Babel) are published by Penguin.