Father of the contemporary short story, Anton Chekhov is widely known as a master of the subtle and the quotidian. But many of the more than 500 stories Chekhov published during his lifetime are deeply grounded in the realities of war, poverty, and violence that shaped daily life in nineteenth-century Russia. This volume presents ten lesser-known masterpieces from this other Chekhov, each introduced by a contemporary author such as Pinckney Benedict, Fred Chappell, Christopher Coake, Jeff Parker, Benjamin Percy, or David R. Slavitt.
“Elliott and Minor have given us Anton Chekhov as many of us know him and love him. As usual there is nothing romanticized. Everything is written in a style that is sparse and cool. Chekhov stays true to his refusal to give more than the mildest pity to his characters, many of whom are ignorant and foolish but still have a certain dignity, a certain humanity that deserves more than what happens to them in the course of their meager, often petty lives. As he said in a letter to a friend written in 1892: ‘When you portray miserable wretches and unlucky people and want to stir the reader to compassion, try to be cooler.’
Not all the stories in The Other Chekhov are equally brilliant, but each has something insightful to say about this human dilemma called living. Each story also has something to teach, especially if you’re a writer, especially if you want to read a genius who is nearly always a poet in prose. Of his work Eudora Welty said that when she read Chekhov it was like angels singing to her. That’s what this captivating selection does–it sings”
— DUFF BRENNA