Russian Classics to Read this autumn

Autumn is here, and although that means a bit of a more hectic schedule after the summer holidays, hopefully the majority of us can still find some time for leisure. Moscow certainly has no shortage of leisurely activities to offer, but from my own experience, there is nothing quite as tranquil, refreshing, and educational, as a good book in one’s spare time.  There is a wide selection of Russian literature to choose from, particularly from Classic Russian literature. A good classic only gets better with time, so if you’re seeking a good book to read this summer, here are 5 classic works that will leave you with a deeper appreciation of Russian Literature.

Master & Margarita
When reading this well-known masterpiece by Michael Bulgakov, one can figuratively draw back the curtain into the Stalin era-Soviet set period into which this thrilling novel was woven. The book was written in 1940, but was not published in Moscow until 1966. Its underlying theme of artistic expression and freedom has cemented its place as a literary success.

Anna Karenina
One of the most vivid pictures ever painted in words from the literary master Leo Tolstoy, will leave the reader enthralled and captivated. The book also touches on the core questions of human desire and happiness. These questions are likely to have the reader questioning his/her own conscience and motives while reading. This book is an absolute ‘must read.’

The Brothers Karamazov
When Fyodor Dostoevsky gifted his last novel to the world, perhaps he did not know that it would be his greatest. Set in 19th century Russia, the book explores spirituality, morality and humanity. Historically, it was a period of modernization in Russia and the writer skillfully incorporated this period and the uncertainty that this change was bringing about to deliver a mesmerizing tale that will captivate the reader.

Ruslan & Ludmila
The book represents the first major work of renowned Russian writer Alexander Pushkin. It was released in 1820 when Pushkin was quite young and for admirers of his work provide some insight into the younger Pushkin, who in time would grow into a literary giant.

The Cherry Orchard
The last play by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, it has been described as a tragi-comedy, and provides some understanding into the decline of the Russian Aristocracy, and the rise of the working class. It is a fictional work of art within a very true historical context.

The aforementioned books no means represent the entirety of Russian classic literature available for book lovers this autumn; they are merely meant to serve as a guide. After reading these, any reader will be sure to dig for more. Copies of the books are available in every language. Make this autumn a reading season, and when you’re choosing a book, be sure to consider one of the Russian classics.