The Road

The Road : Short Fiction and Essays

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Description

By the author of Life and Fate, now a major Radio 4 drama starring Kenneth Branagh. Vasily Grossman is widely recognized as one of the outstanding literary figures of the twentieth century. The short fiction collected here - satire, comedy, tragedy and pure narrative - illustrate the remarkable breadth of his work, and demonstrate all the bold intelligence, delicate irony and extraordinary vividness for which he has become known. In addition to the eleven stories, this volume includes the complete text of 'The Hell of Treblinka', one of the first descriptions of a Nazi extermination camp; a powerful and harrowing piece of journalism written only weeks after the camp was dissolved. Beautifully illuminated by Robert Chandler's introductions and endnotes, with photographs from the family archive, and an Afterword by Grossman's stepson, Fyodor Guber.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 153 x 234mm
  • Quercus Publishing
  • MacLehose Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Russian
  • UK airports ed
  • 1906694265
  • 9781906694265

Review quote

'Readers familiar with his novels will be surprised by his short fiction. They show a writer of infinite variety' Victor Sebestyen, The Sunday Times. 'No one knew better than Grossman what people are capable of. These stories and essays are one of the cultural monuments of the 20th century' David Herman, New Statesman. 'The unstinting championing of ordinary human emotion is what strikes hardest in Grossman's style ... Grossman manages to find human simplicity in his characters at the very apex of pain and disaster' Daily Telegraph. 'This collection of short fiction and essays from the remarkable and criminally under-read Soviet writer includes haunting short stories and his excoriating wartime expose of the Treblinka death camp' Benjamin Evans, Sunday Telegraph. 'Grossman's stories are so affecting partly because they look so unflinchingly at human nature, combining a journalist's eye with a fascination for humanity enduring under near-intolerable circumstances.' Metro. 'The only subject and the only hope is humanity' Brian Morton, Scottish Sunday Herald. 'Grossman deserves a special, if not revered, place as a recorder of some of the worst excesses of the 20th century - indeed, of any century. A casual reader may be lured into thinking this to be a collection of fictional short stories depicting the hardships and privations of Soviet life. But on page 126 comes an abrupt and horrifying awakening 'The Hell of Treblinka' ... nothing prepares us for the force of Grossman's description; his detailed, harrowing reconstruction of what happened' Scotsman. 'Grossman's trajectory is clear in his short fiction and essays: early essays explore the ardent patriotism that fired Russia; later ones such as the title story, 'The Road', an allegory of a beaten mule pulling a munitions train that offers a bitter reflection on life, hint at dangerous disillusionment ... The Road is an excellent introduction to Grossman's hauntingly powerful fiction and reportage' James Urquhart, Financial Times. 'This superbly edited compendium of his writing, containing short stories, journalism and letters to his dead mother, allows us to access the nature and success of his enterprise. Through its lucid notes and essays it also serves as a first-class companion to the terrible history of mid-20th-century central Europe.' Jewish Chronicle. 'The collection has humour, pathos, satire and tragedy. Grossman's superlative ability is to relay through sparse writing the fear, anxiety and compassion of those he writes of. This is an utterly absorbing, compassionate and necessary collection and once read will linger and cause true reflection, as the best writing ought.' Journal of the Law Society of Scotland. 'For today's reader, Grossman's work excavates from the Soviet rubble vital artefacts of the bitter, the tragic, the self-sacrificing, the indomitable and, ultimately, the inspiring' Ken Kalfus, International Herald Tribune. 'The mystery of how to improve the human condition continued to fascinate him and is profoundly reflected in Grossman's superb writings - an enduring memorial to the man' Geoffrey Goodman, Tribune.show more

About Vasily Grossman

Vasily Grossman was born in 1905 into a Jewish family in Ukraine. Life and Fate, his masterpiece, was considered a threat to the totalitarian regime, and Grossman was told that there was no chance of the novel being published for another 200 years. He died in 1964. Robert and Elizabeth Chandler have together translated the works of Andrei Platonov and Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman. Robert is the translator of Grossman's Life and Fate and the author of Alexander Pushkin (Hesperus, 2009).show more