Saturday, January 1, 1977

Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina published 100 years ago this year

First posted 6/26/2020; updated 7/6/2020.

Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy

First Publication: 1877

Category: realist novel

Sales: ?

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

“From its famous opening sentence – ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’ – to its stunningly tragic conclusion, this enduring tale of marriage and adultery plumbs the very depths of the human soul.” BN

Tolstoy referred to Anna Karenina as “a novel from modern life.” AZ “He described in great detail the ‘shattered world’ devoid of moral unity” AZ in which “there are no coincidences” AZ and “topics that are close to each person are raised and remain unanswered.” AZ

Anna Karenina is “a beautiful woman who falls deeply in love with a wealthy army officer, the elegant Count Vronsky,” BN despite being “married to a powerful government minister.” BN “Desperate to find truth and meaning in her life, she rashly defies the conventions of Russian society and leaves her husband and son to live with her lover. Condemned and ostracized by her peers and prone to fits of jealousy that alienate Vronsky, Anna finds herself unable to escape an increasingly hopeless situation.” BN

“Set against this tragic affair is the story of Konstantin Levin, a melancholy landowner whom Tolstoy based largely on himself…Levin embarks on his own search for spiritual fulfillment through marriage, family, and hard work. Surrounding these two central plot threads are dozens of characters whom Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together, creating a breathtaking tapestry of nineteenth-century Russian society.” BN

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