Teffi: A Life of Letters and of Laughter

Teffi: A Life of Letters and of Laughter

By: Edythe Haber (author)Hardback

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Teffi was one of twentieth century Russia's most celebrated authors. Born Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya in 1872, she came to be admired by an impressive range of people - from Tsar Nicholas II to Lenin - and her popularity was such that sweets and perfume were named after her. She visited Tolstoy when she was 13 to haggle with him about the ending of War and Peace and Rasputin tried (and utterly failed) to seduce her. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 she was exiled and lived out her days in the lively Russian emigre community of Paris, where she continued writing - and enjoying comparable fame - until her death in 1952. Teffi's best stories effortlessly shift from light humour and satire to pathos and even tragedy - ever more so when depicting the daunting hardships she and her fellow emigres suffered in exile. While best known for her stories and feuilletons, she also moved over to other genres, from serious poetry to theatrical miniatures and even music, and inhabited an extraordinary range of spheres connected to both high and popular culture. In the first biography of her in any language, Edythe Haber here brings Teffi - who has recently been `rediscovered' in the West to resounding acclaim - to life. Teffi's life and works afford a unique panoramic view of the cultural world of early twentieth century Russia, from the debauchery of the Silver Age to the terror and euphoria of revolution, and of interwar Russian emigration. But they also offer fresh insights into the seismic events - from the 1905 Russian Revolution and World War II to life as a refugee - that she experienced first-hand and recreated in her vivid, penetrating, moving and witty writing.

About Author

Edythe Haber is Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, USA. She is the author of an acclaimed book on Mikhail Bulgakov's early years and of many publications on Bulgakov, Teffi, and Nabokov. She wrote the introduction to Teffi's Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea (2016), which in 2017 was awarded Pushkin House's "Special Award for Best Book in Translation," and has been researching and enjoying Teffi's work for more than 40 years.


List of Plates Notes on the Text Acknowledgements Introduction 1. "An Interesting Bunch": Family Background and Early Years 2. Literary Beginnings, 1898-1908 3. Ascent, 1908-15 4. Feasts and Plagues, 1910-16 5. A Farewell to Russia, Past and Future, 1915-19 6. Migration, 1919-24 7. Russia Abroad, 1924-31 8. A Slippery Slope, 1931-6 9. Tenderness and Angst, 1936-8 10. Zigzags in Life and Art, 1938-9 11. War and Its Aftermath, 1939-46 12. Struggle and Perseverance, 1946-51 13. Last Works, Last Days, 1952 Epilogue: Life after Teffi Notes Select Bibliography and Further Reading in English Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781788312585
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 304
  • ID: 9781788312585
  • weight: 640
  • ISBN10: 1788312589

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