The Story of a Life: Volumes 1–3

Front Cover
Random House, Jan 20, 2022 - Biography & Autobiography - 816 pages

Discover one of Twentieth-Century Russia's most lauded lost classics, now in a remarkable new translation.

'A work of astonishing beauty...a masterpiece' ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER


In 1943, Konstantin Paustovsky, the Soviet Union's most revered author, started out on his masterwork - The Story of a Life; a grand, novelistic memoir of a life lived on the fast-unfurling frontiers of Russian history. Eventually published over six volumes, it would cement Paustovsky's reputation as the voice of Russia around the world, and see him nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Newly translated by Guggenheim fellow Douglas Smith, Vintage Classics are proud to reintroduce the first three books of Paustovsky's epic for a whole new generation. Taking its reader from Paustovsky's Ukrainian youth, struggling with a family on the verge of collapse and the first flourishes of creative ambition, to his experiences working as a paramedic on Russia's frontlines and then as a journalist covering the country's violent spiral into revolution, The Story of a Life offers a portrait of an artistic journey like no other.

As richly dramatic as the great Russian novels of the 19th and 20th centuries, but all the more powerful for its first-hand testament to one of history's most chaotic eras, The Story of Life is a uniquely dazzling achievement of modern literature.

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About the author (2022)

Konstantin Paustovsky was born in Moscow in 1892, but spent his childhood in Ukraine, being schooled at Kiev's First Gymnasium. After serving as a paramedic in World War I Paustovsky worked as a journalist until he began to write the novels, short story collections and critical essays that would earn him his place as the most admired and respected figure among Russia's contemporary writers. Paustovsky began work on his autobiography, The Story of a Life, in 1943, parts of which first appeared in English translation in 1964-four years before he died.