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Three Years

By Anton Chekhov

Translated by Roger Cockrell

ISBN: 9781847497666

114 pages

Paperback

RRP: £5.99 £3.00

On a visit to a provincial town to see his sister Nina who is suffering from cancer, Alexei Laptev, who works for his father’s Moscow haberdashery business, falls in love with Yulia, the daughter of her doctor, and proposes to her. Although she does not reciprocate his feelings, she agrees to marry him and live with him in the capital, where the couple’s relationship is marred by tensions: Yulia is filled with regrets about her choice and boredom with her new existence, while Alexei is nagged by the suspicion that she married him for his money alone. However, as time passes and misfortune strikes, they both learn to reassess all of their assumptions.

Chekhov’s second-longest prose work after The Steppe, Three Years is, in the author’s own words, “a novel of Moscow life” and an examination of its merchant classes. A powerful story of redemption and the nuances of human relationships, the novella helped cement Chekhov’s reputation as a major figure in Russian literature.

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REVIEWS

  • What writers influenced me as a young man? Chekhov! As a dramatist? Chekhov! As a story writer? Chekhov!

    Tennessee Williams

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov (1860–1904) is one of the giants of modern literature, exerting a strong influence on many present-day novelists and dramatists. As a playwright, he ranks in popularity second only to Shakespeare in the English-speaking world. As a prose writer, he was one of the first to use the stream-of-consciousness technique, and his anti-heroic realism, full of ambiguity and allusion, provides no easy moral conclusions and results in a new kind of narrative approaching real life in a way no writer had achieved before him.

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