In these two famous short novels, Leo Tolstoy takes readers to the brink of despair. At the end of life worldly ambition offers no consolation for the spiritually empty soul. But Tolstoy is the master of themes of redemption. He turns his morbid topic into hope, leading toward spiritual awakening. Tolstoy offers his readers a lifetime of perspective on a most human subject, death.
Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Illyich is a small book with singular depth of insight. The book was published in 1886, breaking a nine-year literary silence after the publication of Anna Karenina. It is considered to be one of the great explorations of death and dying in all of Western Literature. No author in so few words summons so many emotions into the reader's soul. This masterpiece is here paired with another Tolstoy short novels, Master and Man, which too examines the human response to mortality. Together these two stories will ultimately offer encouragement to the spiritually hungry.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is considered by many to be the greatest novelist in Western Literature. Several classic novels belong to his pen including War and Peace and Anna Karenina. In addition he wrote many short novels, including The Death of Ivan Illyich.
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