The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year

The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year


By (author) Jay Parini

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  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 34mm | 721g
  • Publication date: 8 November 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1841959677
  • ISBN 13: 9781841959672
  • Edition statement: Main ed
  • Sales rank: 316,151

Product description

By 1910, Leo Tolstoy, the world's most famous author, had become an almost religious figure, surrounded on his lavish estate by family and followers alike. Set in the tumultuous last year of the count's life, "The Last Station" centres on the battle for his soul waged by his wife and his leading disciple.Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity on the one hand and the reality of his enormous wealth, his thirteen children, and a life of hedonism on the other, Tolstoy makes a dramatic flight from his home. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny station of Astapovo, he believes he is dying alone, while outside over one hundred newspapermen are awaiting hourly reports on his condition.Narrated in six different voices, including Tolstoy's own from his diaries and literary works, "The Last Station" is a richly inventive novel that dances bewitchingly between fact and fiction.

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Author information

Jay Parini a novelist and poet -- is Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. His six novels include THE LAST STATION, BENJAMIN'S CROSSING and THE APPRENTICE LOVER. His volumes of poetry include THE ART OF SUBTRACTION: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS. In addition to biographies of John Steinbeck, Robert Frost, and William Faulkner, he has written a volume of essays on literature and politics as well as THE ART OF TEACHING. He edited the OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN LITERATURE and writes regularly for THE GUARDIAN and other publications.

Review quote

"One of the best historical novels written in the last twenty years." GORE VIDAL "Jay Parini has written a stylish, beautifully paced and utterly beguiling novel." SUNDAY TIMES "One of those rare works of fiction that manage to demonstrate both scrupulous historical research and true originality of voice and perception." NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW "An impressively knowing and sensitive performance, a wistful late twentieth-century tribute to the giant conflicts of a more titanic age" OBSERVER"