Discoveries in the Making
Writing the book on Leo Tolstoy
Much of the world's great literature has come from Slavic-speaking countries, particularly Russia. Russian literature has dealt with burning issues of the day, universal in scope, and contemporary in relevance. One of the best known contributors is Leo Tolstoy, author of weighty tomes such as War and Peace. It’s through his writings, which are rich with his concern for the unity of people and his respect for ethnic diversity, that Western readers can gain a rare insight into Russian culture. Andrew Donskov, the founder and director of the Slavic Research Group at uOttawa, says Sofia Tolstaya’s autobiography contains nuggets of valuable information about her husband’s daily existence. It’s considered the most important document for Tolstoy studies that still remains unpublished, inasmuch as it sets forth many facts and commentaries concerning Tolstoy’s life and work to which his wife alone was privy. The exclusive publication rights to Tolstaya’s “My Life” in English are held by the Slavic Research Group at the University of Ottawa.
Andrew Donskov, F.R.S.C., is a Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Slavic Research Group at the University of Ottawa.
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International Literacy Day is September 8.