‘Combining equal parts fact and fiction with literary flair, Alex Christofi has crafted in Dostoevsky in Love a stunning, genre-bending work certain to captivate fans of Dostoevsky and the Russian classics. A daring and mesmerizing twist on the art of biography.’ – Douglas Smith, award-winning author of Rasputin: The Biography
‘A wonderfully readable account of one of the great, and difficult, figures in world literature, Dostoevsky in Love brings the subject brilliantly to life. Anyone who loves his novels will be fascinated by this book.’ – Sue Prideaux, award-winning author of I Am Dynamite!
Dostoevsky’s life was marked by brilliance and brutality. Sentenced to death as a young revolutionary, he survived mock execution and Siberian exile to live through a time of seismic change in Russia, eventually being accepted into the Tsar’s inner circle. He had three great love affairs, each overshadowed by debilitating epilepsy and addiction to gambling. Somehow, amidst all this, he found time to write short stories, journalism and novels such as Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov, works now recognised as among the finest ever written.
In Dostoevsky in Love Alex Christofi weaves carefully chosen excerpts of the author’s work with the historical context to form an illuminating and accessible whole. The result is a novelistic life that immerses the reader in a grand vista of Dostoevsky’s Russia: from the Siberian prison camp to the gambling halls of Europe; from the dank prison cells of the Tsar’s fortress to the refined salons of St Petersburg. Along the way, Christofi relates the stories of the three women whose lives were so deeply intertwined with Dostoevsky’s: the consumptive widow Maria; the impetuous Polina who had visions of assassinating the Tsar; and the faithful stenographer Anna, who did so much to secure his literary legacy.
Reading between the lines of his fiction, Christofi reconstructs the memoir Dostoevsky might himself have written had life – and literary stardom – not intervened. He gives us a new portrait of the artist as never before seen: a shy but devoted lover, a friend of the people capable of great empathy, a loyal brother and friend, and a writer able to penetrate to the very depths of the human soul.
Available for pre-order: