Anton Chekhov: A Brother's Memoir

Mikhail Chekhov, Author, Eugene Alper, Translator , trans. from the Russian by Eugene Alper. Palgrave Macmillan $25 (238p) ISBN 978-0-230-61883-1

In 1905, the year after his older brother Anton's death, Mikhail Chekhov began publishing a series of biographical recollections about his famous sibling . More than 20 years later, the younger Chekhov compiled many of the most important stories from his collections into this volume, appearing here in English for the first time. In Alper's competent translation, Mikhail provides some useful and interesting glimpses into the Chekhov family life and his older brother's personality and playful sense of humor. He also relates events behind the plots of some of Anton's more famous stories and of his play, The Seagull . In a fit of madness, and perhaps jealousy, a friend of Anton's went out to the lake with his shotgun, killed a seagull, and threw the dead bird at the feet of his lover, without any explanation. But this volume reveals as much about Mikhail as about his celebrated brother, so the book will appeal only to deeply devoted Chekhov fans who have not been able to read Mikhail's recollections in Russian . (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
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