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Anton Chekhov was born on January 29, 1860 in Taganrog, Russia. He graduated from the University of Moscow in 1884. Chekhov died of tuberculosis in Germany on July 14, 1904, shortly after his marriage to actress Olga Knipper, and was buried in Moscow. Peter Sekirin was born in Russia and holds a Ph.D. in Russian Literature from the University of Toronto. He has been working at the Center for Russian Studies at the University of Toronto since 1999. His works include The Dostoevsky Archive, a biography of Fyodor Dostoevsky; the English-language translations of Tolstory's The Calendar of Wisdom; and On the Sea and Other Stories: Early Short Stories of Anton Chekhov. He works as a research associate at the University of Toronto and lives in North York, Ontario.
Best known today as a playwright, Chekhov (1860-1904) was also a prolific and accomplished writer of short fiction, as shown by this collection of 42 stories, most of which have previously been unavailable in English translation. As Sekirin notes in the preface, these stories appeared in a variety of periodicals "and until now have managed to escape the notice of contemporary editors and translators." Though billed as featuring crime and suspense, the volume has a broad range, including morality tales and stories of both dark and puckish humor. In the amusingly macabre "A Night of Horror," a man finds a coffin in his apartment. "Task," about a college student and bad checks, has a thoroughly modern ring. "A Crime: A Double Murder Case" is classic noir. Not all the selections shine, but enough do that the collection should appeal to more than just Chekhov fanatics. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.