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Subtly Worded and Other Stories

Jackson, Anne Marie, Teffi, Kitson, Clare, Chandler, Robert, Wase, Natalia
Format: Paperback
Publisher: PUSHKIN PRESS
Published: January 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781782277309
304 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£10.99

Teffi’s genius with the short form made her a literary star in pre-revolutionary Russia, beloved by Tsar Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin alike. These stories, taken from the whole of her career, show the full range of her gifts. Extremely funny – a wry, scathing observer of society – she is also capable, as capable even as Chekhov, of miraculous subtlety and depth of character.

There are stories here from her own life (as a child, going to meet Tolstoy to plead for the life of War and Peace’s Prince Bolkonsky, or, much later, her strange, charged meetings with the already-legendary Rasputin). There are stories of emigre society, its members held together by mutual repulsion. There are stories of people misunderstanding each other or misrepresenting themselves.

And throughout there is a sly, sardonic wit and a deep, compelling intelligence.

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