Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

by
Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Penguin Classics
ISBN: 9780140449174

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“Anna Karenina” opens with one of the most iconic sentences in the whole of literature:

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

The validity of this claim is even more questionable than the opening line of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Questionable or not, “Anna Karenina” is no doubt one of the greatest novels ever written. We jumped right into Stiva’s familial discord as his wife discovers his infidelity. Stiva’s sister, Anna Karenina, arrives at Moscow to save his brother’s marriage and family while falling in love with the young officer Count Vronsky. Resisting his advance at first, she eventually fell in love and began a passionate affair with him, which ended in disaster. In parallel to Anna’s storyline is the love story between Konstantin Levin and Kitty, which begins in Kitty’s rejection and ends in their marriage and the birth of their child.

Intertwined between the two threads is an exploration of a number of issues such as love, family, and social issues at the time.

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Copyright © Peter Y. Chuang 2018

Peter Y. Chuang is a Hong Kong-born novelist and short story writer who’s lived in London and calls Berlin his spiritual home. He has completed the manuscript of a literary science fiction novel, Twenty Forty-Seven,” and is currently re-writing another literary novel, Only You Know What It Means.”