Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkov over political issues that arose in the final installment (Tolstoy's unpopular views of volunteers going to Serbia); therefore, the novel's first complete appearance was in book form.
Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction, Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, when he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel.
Fyodor Dostoevsky declared it to be "flawless as a work of art". His opinion was shared by Vladimir Nabokov, who especially admired "the flawless magic of Tolstoy's style", and by William Faulkner, who described the novel as "the best ever written". The novel is currently enjoying popularity, as demonstrated by a recent poll of 125 contemporary authors by J. Peder Zane, published in 2007 in "The Top Ten" in Time, which declared that Anna Karenina is the "greatest novel ever written".
The novel has been adapted into various media including opera, film, television, ballet, and radio drama. The first film adaptation was released in 1911 but has not survived.
- 1914: Anna Karenina (1914 film), a Russian adaptation directed by Vladimir Gardin
- 1915: Anna Karenina (1915 film), an American version starring Danish actress Betty Nansen
- 1927: Love (1927 film), an American version, starring Greta Garbo and directed by Edmund Goulding. This version featured significant changes from the novel and had two different endings, with a happy one for American audiences
- 1935: Anna Karenina (1935 film), the critically acclaimed version, starring Greta Garbo and Fredric March and directed by Clarence Brown.
- 1948: Anna Karenina (1948 film) starring Vivien Leigh, Ralph Richardson and directed by Julien Duvivier
- 1953: Anna Karenina (1953 film), a Russian version directed by Tatyana Lukashevich
- 1960: Nahr al-Hob (River of Love), an Egyptian movie directed by Ezzel Dine Zulficar
- 1967: Anna Karenina (1967 film), a Russian version directed by Alexander Zarkhi
- 1976/1979: Anna Karenina (1976 film), film of the Bolshoi Ballet production, directed by Margarita Pilikhina, first released in Finland in 1976. U.S. release in 1979
- 1985: Anna Karenina (1985 film), a TV Movie starring Jacqueline Bisset and Christopher Reeve, directed by Simon Langton
- 1997: Anna Karenina (1997 film), the first American version filmed entirely in Russia, directed by Bernard Rose and starring Sophie Marceau and Sean Bean
- 2000: Anna Karenina (2000 film), a British version by David Blair and starring Helen McCrory and Kevin McKidd
- 2012: Anna Karenina (2012 film), a British version by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Tom Stoppard, starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law