The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories (Penguin Popular Classics)
Three of Tolstoy's most powerful and moving shorter works are brought together in this volume. "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" is a masterly meditation on life and death, recounting the physical decline and spiritual awakening of a worldly, successful man who is faced with his own mortality. Only in his last agonizing moments does Ivan Ilyich finally confront his true nature, and gain the forgiveness of his wife and son for his cruelty towards them. "Happy Ever After," inspired by one of Tolstoy's own romantic entanglements, tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who marries her guardian twice her age. And "The Cossacks," the tale of a disenchanted young nobleman who seeks fulfillment amid the wild beauty of the Caucasus, was hailed by Turgenev as "...the finest and most perfect production of Russian literature."
Rosemary Edmonds' classic translation fully captures the subtle nuances of Tolstoy's writing, and includes an introduction discussing the stories' influences and contemporary reactions towards them.