Life and Fate
Written 1959, first published in Russian in the west in 1980, in English in 1985, and in the Soviet Union in 1988
Translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler
At the centre of this epic novel, overshadowing the lives of its huge cast of Russian and German characters, looms the battle of Stalingrad. Within a world torn apart by ideological tyranny and war, Grossman’s character must work out their destinies. This sweeping account aims to give as panoramic a view of Soviet society during World War II as Tolstory did of Russian life in the epoch of the Napoleonic Wars. Completed in 1960 and then confiscated by the KGB, it remained unpublished at the time of the author’s death in 1964 but was smuggled into the West in 1980, where it was hailed a masterpiece.