The stories collected in this volume demonstrate Tolstoy’s artistic prowess displayed over five decades—experimenting with prose styles and drawing on his own experiences with humor and compassion. “The Two Hussars,” inspired by his time in the army, contrasts a dashing father and his mean-spirited son. Illustrating Tolstoy’s belief that art must serve a moral purpose, “What Men Live By” portrays an angel sent to earth to learn three existential rules of life. And in the deeply moving “Master and Man,” a mercenary merchant travels with his unprotesting servant through a blizzard to close a business deal—little realizing he may soon have to settle accounts with his maker.
- First of four volumes of revised editions of Tolstoy’s short fiction for Penguin Classics
- Includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, and explanatory notes