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Tales of the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov; Translated From the Russian by H.c. Stevens

Tales of the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov; Translated From the Russian by H.c. Stevens

14.98

New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1962. Stated "First American Edition" on the copyright page. Hardcover. 310 pages ; 22 cm. $4.50 dust jacket. Soiling to rear cover board. No markings to pages. Binding is firm.


THESE SIXTEEN STORIES make the fifth book in the Don cycle and return in time to the violent and dramatic events of revolution and civil war. In the compelling form of the short story, they reflect the same mature inspiration which produced the young Sholokhov's first novel, And Quiet Flows the Don. As always when he deals with times of violence, Mr. Sholokhov has the great talent to embed in swift, telling narrative those nameless tragedies and triumphs which, but for a great writer's compassion, would be forever lost in the fog of war and revolution. His scene is, of course, the Don country; his characters, the men, the women, the young people whose private lives, whether as actors or victims, have a brief moment of poignant meaning and importance. In each story, whether it be the unforgettable tale of a cavalryman's sacrifice for a pet foal or "The Azure Steppe," a story of blood-curdling cruelty, Mr. Sholokhov always reveals some surprising recess of the human heart. Mikhail Sholokhov's talent, here as in the Don novels, lies in his ability to write as the chronicler of a great political drama while at the same time creating intensely private lives for his characters. Sholokhov's characters are always typical of their times, yet they are never mere average characters. Uniqueness and typicality are a rare unity, and in Sholokhov they display again the great debt that the modern Russian school owes to Tolstoy.

Mikhail Sholokhov was born in 1905 in a village in the Don region, of a family that had been living there for many generations. His parents were poor, but they managed to send him to school in Moscow. At the age of fifteen he returned to his native village, where he became a schoolteacher, then a statistician, a food inspector, and half a dozen other things. He and his father were the only men in the town, and there, in those bloody years 1920-3, he saw with his own eyes what civil war meant.

He began writing when he was eighteen years old. Today he is one of the most popular writers in the Soviet Union—literally millions of copies of his works have been sold. But though his vast royalties would permit him to live luxuriously in one of the large cities, he prefers to live with his wife in the town of his forefathers near the Don. He has a small farm, with a few head of cattle, and he enjoys working on it. His leisure he spends hunting and fishing.

Regarded as a Soviet national hero, Sholokhov has nonetheless continually asserted his independence of the official Communist viewpoint in his writings and in his often blunt challenges to the Soviet's literary dictators. Thus he was one of the few writers in Russia to defend Boris Pasternak during the controversy over the publication of Dr. Zhivago.

Mr. Sholokhov is now at work on a cycle of novels, entitled They Fought for Their Country, which will tell the story of the Don country and its people during World War II.


THE NOVELS OF THE DON CYCLE

AND QUIET FLOWS THE DON
THIS MAGNIFICENT NOVEL of revolution and civil war is regarded throughout the world as the undisputed masterpiece of Soviet literature. Everywhere it has been published—and the countries include France, Germany, Eng-land, Norway, Sweden, Holland, as well as the United States—it has been hailed as a classic of fiction. "It can only be compared with Tolstoy's War and Peace."—MAXIM GORKY

THE DON FLOWS HOME TO THE SEA
THIS IMMENSE NOVEL, although absolutely complete in itself, carries to a conclusion the story begun in And Quiet Flows the Don.

"A masterpiece of skillful narrative... Together with the earlier book it makes an epic that the Russian people may well be proud of." —BERNABDINE KIELTY, Book-of-the-Month Club News

SEEDS OF TOMORROW
"A NOVEL of social upheaval and change in the Don farming village, Gremyachy Log.

"It is a superb literary performance...The kulaks, the poor Cossacks, the Bolsheviks, all the men and women who stride through the pages are extraordinarily alive." —MAURICE HINDUS, New York Herald Tribune

HARVEST ON THE DON
This is the fourth of Mikhail Sholokhov's Don novels.
"I know of no living novelist who has brought to his big narratives of country life such color, character, and humor as Mikhail Sholokhov The books [the four Don novels] can be enjoyed separately; taken together they form a turbulent, earthy epic of the revolution and its aftermath." —EDWARD A. WEEKS, Atlantic Monthly


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