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Other titles in the Neversink Library series:
A Country Doctor's Notebook (Neversink Library)
Synopses & Reviews
Part autobiography, part fiction, this early work by the author of The Master and Margarita shows a master at the dawn of his craft, and a nation divided by centuries of unequal progress.
In 1916 a 25-year-old, newly qualified doctor named Mikhail Bulgakov was posted to the remote Russian countryside. He brought to his position a diploma and a complete lack of field experience. And the challenges he faced didn’t end there: he was assigned to cover a vast and sprawling territory that was as yet unvisited by modern conveniences such as the motor car, the telephone, and electric lights.
The stories in A Country Doctor’s Notebook are based on this two-year window in the life of the great modernist. Bulgakov candidly speaks of his own feelings of inadequacy, and warmly and wittily conjures episodes such as peasants applying medicine to their outer clothing rather than their skin, and finding himself charged with delivering a baby—having only read about the procedure in text books.
Not yet marked by the dark fantasy of his later writing, this early work features a realistic and wonderfully engaging narrative voice—the voice, indeed, of twentieth century Russia’s greatest writer.
Recognized as one of the greatest Russian modern authors, Mikhail Bulgakov is cherished by readers in his native land and abroad for his biting satire and clear, engaging prose. In this collection of stories, a young doctor fresh from medical school endures the hardships and relishes the rewards of working in a rural hospital that serves the peasant class in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Detailing the numerous complications that arise from treating mostly ignorant patients, the doctor is forced to master his profession quickly and effectively while at the same time remaining calm and detached as his day to day experiences begin to inform his outlook on both the people and culture of his country. Part fiction, part autobiography, A Country Doctor’s Notebook demonstrates Bulgakov’s growing talents as a writer of powerful language and elegant storytelling.
The only available North American edition, this collection of interwoven stories will appeal to fans of Bulgakov’s later work as well as those interested in gaining an insightful glimpse of Russia in the days leading up to the Revolution.
About the Author
MIKHAIL BULGAKOV was born in Kiev on May 15th 1891. He graduated as a doctor but gave up the practice of medicine in 1920 to devote himself to literature. He went on to write some of the greatest novels in twentieth century Russian literature, including The White Guard, Heart of a Dog, and his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. He died in Moscow of kidney disease in 1940.
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