This collection of Pushkin’s stories begins with ‘The Queen of Spades’, perhaps the most celebrated short story in Russian literature. The young Hermann, while watching some friends gambling, hears a rumour of how an officer’s grandmother is always able to predict the three winning cards in a game. He becomes obsessed with the woman and her seemingly mystical powers, and seeks to extract the secret from her at any cost.
This volume, part of a new series of the complete works of Pushkin in English, also includes ‘Dubrovsky’, the story of a man’s desire to avenge himself after his land is unjustly taken from him by an aristocrat; ‘The Negro of Peter the Great’, a tale inspired by Pushkin’s maternal grandfather; and the unfinished story ‘Egyptian Nights’, a meditation on poetry and the poet. Together, they represent some of the most striking and enduring pieces of Pushkin’s prose fiction.