Fyodor Dostoevsky

Books by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) was one of Russia’s great novelists. While best known as the author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, several of his other novels have also been recommended on Five Books, including Memoirs from the House of the Dead, a fictionalized account of his time in a Siberian labour camp.

Dostoevsky’s life was an eventful one, and you can read more about it in our interview with novelist Alex Christofi, author of Dostoevsky in Love, a biography that blends his life and his writing. Christofi also offers some tips on which Dostoevsky books to start off with if you’re not ready for the philosophical heft of his last and greatest work, The Brothers Karamazov.

Interviews where books by Fyodor Dostoevsky were recommended

Five Mysteries Set in Russia, recommended by Boris Akunin

The golden age of mystery largely passed Russia by, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some great crime novels produced over the last 150 years. Bestselling crime novelist Boris Akunin, who was born Grigory Chkhartishvili in Soviet Georgia and now lives in exile in London, recommends five Russian mysteries—great works of literature that happen to also have a crime at their heart. If you’d like to see Boris/Grigory in person, he’s speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival on 18 March, 2024 at 6pm.

The Best Fyodor Dostoevsky Books, recommended by Alex Christofi

His father had clawed his way up into the minor aristocracy, but Fyodor Dostoevsky chose to live the life of an impecunious author. He was sentenced to death, but his execution was stayed and he spent years in a Siberian labour camp instead. His books are about human compassion, but he was a difficult man who had trouble with his own personal relationships. Alex Christofi, author of a brilliant new biography of Dostoevsky, one of Russia’s greatest novelists, recommends five books to learn more about the man and his work—including the novel of which Tolstoy said he ‘didn’t know a better book in all our literature’.

Rachel Kushner on Books That Influenced Her

Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers and The Mars Room, which has been shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, discusses the five books that have most influenced her writing, from Dostoyevsky to Marguerite Duras. She muses on the question of what fiction can offer: “A novel itself, if it is good, and effective at whatever its particular aesthetic and philosophical aim is, can answer the question best, so that a novelist doesn’t have to.”

© Five Books 2024

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