Fiction

Theresa Raquin

Emile Zola

Thérèse Raquin is the daughter of a French sea-captain and an Algerian mother. After her mother's death, her father takes her to live with her aunt, Madame Raquin, and Camille, her valetudinarian son. Because her son is "so ill", Madame...

The Spy: The Story of a Superfluous Man

Maksim Gorky

The orphan boy Yevsey Klimkov is apprenticed to the owner of a shop, who secretly sells prohibited revolutionary books and then informs on his customers to the police. The bookseller is murdered, and the bereft, frail, and weak Klimkov is coerced by...

Mother

Maksim Gorky

In his novel, Gorky portrays the life of a woman who works in a Russian factory doing hard manual labour and combating poverty and hunger, among other hardships. Pelageya Nilovna Vlasova is the real protagonist; her husband, a heavy drunkard, physica...

Les Miserables Extended

Victor Hugo

The story begins in 1815 in Digne, as the peasant Jean Valjean, just released from 19 years' imprisonment in the Bagne of Toulon—five for stealing bread for his starving sister and her family and fourteen more for numerous escape attempts&mdash...

The Daughter of Captain (Commandant)

Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin

Pyotr Andreyich Grinyov (the narrative is conducted on his behalf) is the only surviving child of a retired army officer. When Pyotr turns 17, his father sends him into military service in Orenburg. En route Pyotr gets lost in a blizzard, but is resc...

Taras Bulba and Other Tales

Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol

Taras Bulba's two sons, Ostap and Andriy, return home from an Orthodox seminary in Kyiv. Ostap is the more adventurous, whereas Andriy has deeply romantic feelings of an introvert. While in Kyiv, he fell in love with a young Polish noble girl, the da...

Sevastopol

Lev Tolstoy

In Sevastopol in December, Tolstoy uses second person narrative (with the pronoun 'you') in an introductory tour of life in Sevastopol. The detailed tour is arguably similar to one Tolstoy may have been given upon arrival in Sevastopol in November, 1...

Master and Man

Lev Tolstoy

In this short story, a land owner named Vasili Andreyevich Brekhunov takes one of his peasants, Nikita, for a short journey by sleigh. They are traveling to visit another landowner so that Vasili Andreyevich can purchase a forest. He is impatient and...

What Men Live By, and Other Tales

Lev Tolstoy

A kind and humble shoemaker maker called Simon goes out one day to purchase sheep-skins in order to sew a winter coat for his wife and himself to share. Usually, the little money which Simon earns would be spent to feed his wife and children. Simon d...