A work unprecedented in world literature, this unique volume contains a new translation of Lev Tolstoy's controversial novella The Kreutzer Sonata, which was initially banned by Russian censors. In addition, available to English readers for the first time is a fascinating and previously neglected constellation of counterstories written by the author's wife and son in direct response to Tolstoy's provocative tale, each a passionate attempt to undo the message of the original work. These radically conflicting tales, accompanied by excerpts from family letters, diaries, notes, and memoirs, provide readers with a vivid and highly revealing case study of the powerful disputes concerning sexuality and gender roles that erupted within the cultural context of late-nineteenth-century Russian, as well as European, society.
Michael Katz is the C.V. Starr Professor Emeritus of Russian and Eastern European Studies at Middlebury College. He is the author of two previous books on Russian literature and the translator of more than a dozen Russian novels into English, including major works by Herzen, Chernyshevsky, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Jabotinsky, and S. Ansky.