- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
Early in his brief literary career, Chekhov outlined in a letter to his brother his idea of the ingredients of a good short story. Arguing against moral judgments and political, economic, or social commentary, he wrote, ÂTo describe . . . you need . . . to free yourself from the personal expression. . . . Subjectivity is a terrible thing.â Instead, he favored objectivity, truthfulness, originality, compassion, and brevity. Although his writing developed and matured, he remained largely faithful to these principles.
This new selection of twenty-three stories explores the entire range of Chekhovâs short fiction, from early sketches, such as ÂThe Cookâs Weddingâ (1885) and ÂOn the Roadâ (1886) to late works, such as ÂIn the Ravineâ (1900) and ÂThe Bishop" (1902). Ward No. 6 and Other Stories includes some of his most popular tales, such as the title story and ÂThe Lady with the Dogâ (1899), as well as several lesser-known works, no less masterful in their composition.
David Plante is a Professor of Writing at Columbia University. He is the author of many novels, including The Ghost of Henry James, The Family (nominated for the National Book Award), and The Woods. He has been a contributor to The New Yorker, Esquire, and Vogue, and a reviewer and features writer for the New York Times Book Review.
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