A Young Doctor’s Notebook
Translated by Hugh Aplin
In this collection of short stories, drawing heavily from the author’s own experiences as a medical graduate on the eve of the Russian Revolution, Bulgakov describes a young doctor’s turbulent and often brutal introduction to his practice in the backward village of Muryovo.
Using a sharply realistic and humorous style, Bulgakov reveals his doubts about his own competence and the immense burden of responsibility, as he deals with a superstitious and poorly educated people struggling to enter the modern age. This acclaimed collection contains some of Bulgakov’s most personal and insightful observations on youth, isolation and progress.
Bulgakov’s struggle with the dark Russian winter swirling outside his window symbolizes the lack of experience, loneliness, and the worry of breaking the Hippocratic oath that gnaws at the sleep of junior doctors everywhere.
British Medical Journal
One of the great classics of medical literature.
One of the great writers of the twentieth century.
Born in Kiev in 1891 to Russian parents, Mikhail Bulgakov trained as a doctor and volunteered for the Red Cross on the outbreak of the First World War. He later enlisted as a doctor for the anti-Bolshevik White Army, before eventually giving up medicine to concentrate on literature. The Master and Margarita is his most famous work, and has been hailed as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.