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"My favourite writer, the famous Nikolai Leskov". (Anton Chekhov). "Leskov is a writer for the future". (Leo Tolstoy). "Leskov fully deserves the privilege of standing in line with such makers of Russian literature as Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenev, and Goncharov". (Maxim Gorky). Leskov's short stories exploded the traditions of nineteenth-century Russian fiction. Innovative in form and playful in language, these seventeen tales are peopled by outsized characters that include serfs, princes, military officers, Gypsy girls, wayward monks, horse dealers, nomadic Tartars, and garrulous storytellers. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's stunning translation brings Leskov's sophisticated storytelling and exuberant voice to life. "Stories as strong as fables and crazy as life". (Alice Munroe). "Surreal, gripping, violent but comic tales". (Margaret Atwood). "Nikolai Leskov's absence from classic Russian literature lists must end now! If you like Russian, and you like funny, you will love Leskov". (Gary Shteyngart).