Anton Chekhov: A Life
Date: April 2000
Duration: 28 hours 35 minutes
Anton Chekhov's life was short, intense, and dominated by battles, both with his dependents and with the tuberculosis that killed him at age forty-four. The traditional image of Chekhov is that of the restrained artist torn between medicine and literature. But Donald Rayfield's biography reveals the life long hidden behind the noble facade. Here is a man capable of both great generosity toward needy peasants and harsh callousness toward lovers and family, a man who craved with equal passion the company of others and the solitude necessary to create his art. Based on information from Chekhov archives throughout Russia, Rayfield's work has been hailed as a groundbreaking examination of the life of a literary master.
"Rayfield has done Chekhov and his readers a great service. His efforts have uncovered a Chekhov-complex, troubling and ambiguous-who finally feels right as the man behind the art."-New York Times Book Review