Gorky

Henri Troyat, Author, Lowell Bair, Translator Crown Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57237-5
French biographer Troyat here portrays the life of Alexey Maximovich Peshkov (1868-1936), Russian naturalistic novelist, short-story writer and playwright, who took the name Gorky (``bitter'') in 1892, when his first story was published. Compared with Troyat's earlier biographies ( Chekhov , Tolstoy and Turgenev ), this one is brief and perfunctory. The most interesting parts deal with Gorky's poverty-stricken childhood and adolescence, but this period is more sharply described in Gorky's own autobiographical works. Although he supported Marxism and participated in the revolution of 1905, Gorky was usually at odds with Lenin, and he opposed the Bolshevik takeover of power in 1917. Nevertheless, under Stalin he became the undisputed leader of Soviet writers, and after his death his native city, Nizhni Novgorod, was renamed Gorky. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Hardcover - 260 pages - 978-2-08-064943-0
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