Life and Fate

Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman ($16.47)

This is a Russian novel of World War II, censored by the Soviet Union, but nevertheless smuggled out to the west in the 70s.   The book is discussed here.
Grossman’s epic novel…draws uncomfortable parallels between Nazi and Soviet power, a politically potent theme. — Bill Keller, The New York Times

Not just a great WWII novel: a masterpiece by any yardstick. — New Statesman & Society

[A book of] powerful human warmth…. The depiction of the Shtrum family…feels like Chekhov, or even Bellow. — Keith Gessen, The New Yorker

[A] masterful evocation of the fate of Russia as it is expressed through the lives of its people. — USA Today

[An] extraordinarily dark portrait of Soviet society. — David Remnick, The Washington Post

Product 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.

The book is discussed here.

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