The prequel to Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate, the War and Peace of the 20th Century, now in English for the first time.
In April 1942, Hitler and Mussolini meet in Salzburg where they agree on a renewed assault on the Soviet Union. Launched in the summer, the campaign soon picks up speed, as the routed Red Army is driven back to the industrial center of Stalingrad on the banks of the Volga. In the rubble of the bombed-out city, Soviet forces dig in for a last stand.
The story told in Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad unfolds across the length and breadth of Russia and Europe, and its characters include mothers and daughters, husbands and brothers, generals, nurses, political activists, steelworkers, and peasants, along with Hitler and other historical figures. At the heart of the novel is the Shaposhnikov family. Even as the Germans advance, the matriarch, Alexandra Vladimirovna, refuses to leave Stalingrad. Far from the front, her eldest daughter, Ludmila, is unhappily married to the Jewish physicist Viktor Shtrum. Viktor’s research may be of crucial military importance, but he is distracted by thoughts of his mother in the Ukraine, lost behind German lines.
In Stalingrad, published here for the first time in English translation, and in its celebrated sequel, Life and Fate, Grossman writes with extraordinary power and deep compassion about the disasters of war and the ruthlessness of totalitarianism, without, however, losing sight of the little things that are the daily currency of human existence or of humanity’s inextinguishable, saving attachment to nature and life. Grossman’s two-volume masterpiece can now be seen as one of the supreme accomplishments of twentieth-century literature, tender and fearless, intimate and epic.
|Publisher:||New York Review Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.93(h) x 1.82(d)|
About the Author
Vasily Grossman (1905-1964) worked as a reporter for the army newspaper Red Star during World War II. His vivid yet sober The Hell of Treblinka was translated and used as testimony in the Nuremberg trials. His novels Life and Fate and Everything Flows; a collection of stories, journalism, and essays, The Road; and a work of travel writing, An Armenian Sketchbook, are all published by NYRB Classics.
Robert Chandler has translated many NYRB Classics, including Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate, as well as Soul and The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platanov. He lives in London.
Elizabeth Chandler is a co-translator, with Robert Chandler, of several titles by Andrey Platonov and Vasily Grossman.