The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy


Product Details

Harper Perennial
Publish Date
6.02 X 8.82 X 1.26 inches | 1.51 pounds

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About the Author

Cathy Porter has published biographies of the Russianwomen revolutionaries Alexandra Kollontai and Larissa Reisner, as well as books about women terrorists of the 1860s, Russia's 1905 revolution, and the Battle of Moscow. She has translated more than thirty books and works for the stage, including plays by Gorky and the Czech Karel Capek. She lives in Oxford.


"It is simplistic to see Sofia as the victim of her husband's genius. Her diaries show that she was a formidable storyteller in her own right."--London Times
"How she remained married to the beyond difficult Tolstoy for close on half a century remains one of life's great mysteries, and Sofia's diaries provide rich, at times peevish, but invariably vivid insights to the Russia of her lifetime."--Irish Times (Best Non-fiction Citation)
"The hundreds of pages offered by Porter in this selection are testament to a great spirit, a woman who lived in terrifying proximity to one of the greatest writers of all time, and who understood exactly the high price she would have to pay for this privilege."--Jay Parini
"Hauntingly revealing and gorgeously sad, these entries reveal a wife's desperate love and estrangement from her brilliant but complex and troubled husband."--Kirkus Reviews
"Beautifully translated and edited.... Provides a harrowing portrait of a marriage.... [The] diaries, so rich in acute psychological awareness and observation, should be read for themselves, not just as a social document or biographical resource. They are infuriating, heartbreaking, unputdownable."--Michael Dirda, Washington Post