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Childhood, Boyhood, Youth
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About the Author

Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia in 1828. He studied Oriental languages and law (although failed to earn a degree in the latter) at the University of Kazan, and after a dissolute youth eventually joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He took part in the Crimean War, and the Sebastopol Sketches that emerged from it established his reputation. After living for some time in St Petersburg and abroad, he married Sophie Behrs in 1862 and they had thirteen children. The happiness this brought him gave him the creative impulse for his two greatest novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Later in life his views became increasingly radical as he gave up his possessions to live a simple peasant life. After a quarrel with his wife he fled home secretly one night to seek refuge in a monastery. He became ill during this dramatic flight and died at the small railway station of Astapovo in 1910.

Reviews

Tolstoy's first published work, Childhood, is unquestionably one of his most engaging and profound narratives, and he followed it in short order with the other two parts of the trilogy. We have several competent English translations, but none of them comes close to matching Judson Rosengrant's in capturing the young writer's astonishing precision, stylistic variety, and range of moods [...] The introduction breaks new critical ground in presenting Tolstoy's language and thought. The deft, unpretentious annotations are the most thorough in any English-language edition. I cannot think of a better place to start for new readers of Tolstoy, or a more insightful, enjoyable refresher for experienced Tolstoyans -- William Mills Todd III, Harvard University
This superb new translation of the early trilogy, intelligently introduced, is a miracle of persuasive storytelling -- Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
Judson Rosengrant's stunning new translation of Leo Tolstoy's first literary masterpiece reveals the Russian novelist's talent in all its startling and visionary originality [...] Rosengrant's Childhood, Boyhood, Youth is an example of the art of translation at its finest, combining critical acumen, a specialist's understanding of Tolstoy's art, and a profound sympathy with the original's subtle narrative 'moods,' shifting melodies of language, and deployment of stylistic registers. Thanks to Rosengrant's passionate respect for the integrity of the text and the power of the precisely chosen word to illuminate experience, Tolstoy has found an English voice worthy of his own. -- Lena M Lencek, Reed College

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