Vasily Grossman (Estate)
Vasily Grossman was born into a Jewish family in the Ukraine in 1905. He studied Chemistry at university, but soon gave in to his passion for literature. He published his first novel, Glyukauf, in 1933. During the Second World War Grossman worked for the Army newspaper Red Star, reporting on the defence of Stalingrad and the fall of Berlin. He was an eyewitness to the consequences of the Holocaust, and writing from what he saw and experienced, he published the first journalist’s account of a German death camp in any language.
Life and Fate, his masterpiece, was considered a threat to the totalitarian regime, and Grossman was told that there was no chance of the novel being published for another 200 years. A Writer at War, edited by Antony Beevor, is the text of notebooks from his four years with the Red Army. He has also left one of the most vivid and shocking depictions of famine in world literature in his last, unfinished novel, Everything Flows. In 2010 The Road, a collection of his short fiction and stories, was published in the UK. Stalingrad, the prequel to Life and Fate, was published in English for the first time by Harvill Secker and NYRB in 2019, with Robert Chandler’s editing and translation making this the most complete version of the novel in any language. Vasily Grossman died in 1964.