“Collecting what is beautiful . . . in the living Russian literature,” Stephen Graham assembled the Constable’s Russian Library. Graham’s collection captures the literary spirit of the age in Russia at the turn of the century. These stories, poetry, memoir, and other narratives open up the spiritual, intellectual, and physical struggles of Russian consciousness in the midst of war, famine, and revolution.
The grand narratives of Brothers Karamazov and Anna Karenina were the exception in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature. The short story carried all the import the novel did in Western Europe. Several authors mastered this form which saturated Russian society, high and low. Graham captures the best of Kuprin’s realism, Sologub’s fantasy, and Brussof’s emotion. Graham wrote that “these specimen volumes of Russian stories which I have edited from Sologub, Kuprin, and Brussof may be helpful in our own literary world as affording new conceptions, new models, and showing new possibilities of literary form.”
Also included are journalist Vlas Doroshevitch’s impactful account of Russian suffering in World War I, The Way of the Cross, and the extended prose work of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s daughter, Lyubov, The Emigrant.
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Stephen Graham (1884–1975) was a British journalist, travel-writer, essayist, and novelist. Born in Edinburgh to the journalist P. Anderson Graham, Stephen left school at 14 to work as a legal clerk in London. He first studied Russian vacationing near the Sea of Azov. Shortly afterward he quit his job in order to explore the Caucasus and Urals. He supported himself thereafter through his writings as a Russophile and world traveler. He wrote reports on Russian culture for English readers, married in Russia, and documented World War I from the Russian perspective.
Graham is best known for his accounts of his travels throughout Russia and his pilgrimages to Jerusalem with Russian Christians. He also wrote reports on Russian culture for English readers and documented World War I from the Russian perspective. His works reflect deep sympathy for the poor and outcast of society, as well as a distaste for industrialization.