The Village by Ivan Bunin

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Ivan Bunin’s first published work, The Village is a bleak and uncompromising portrayal of rural life in south-west Russia. Set at the time of the 1905 Revolution and centering on episodes in the lives of two peasant brothers – “characters sunk so far below the average of intelligence as to be scarcely human” – it reveals the pettiness, violence and ignorance of life on the land.

At once nostalgic for a bygone more innocent age and foreshadowing the turbulences of the twentieth century, Bunin’s narrative is a triumph of bitter realism, shot through with the author’s classical style and precision of language.

This edition contains detailed notes on the text, extra material about the author and a carefully selected bibliography. There is also an appendix containing the first few pages of The Village in the original Russian.

Translated by Hugh Aplin and Galya Aplin