Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 in the Tula province. He studied at the University of Kazan, then led a life of pleasure until
1851 when he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus. He established his reputation as a writer with The Sebastopol Sketches
(1855-6). After a period in St Petersburg and abroad, he married, had thirteen children, managed his vast estates in the Volga
Steppes and wrote War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). A Confession (1879-82) marked a spiritual crisis in his life,
and in 1901 he was excommuincated by the Russian Holy Synod. He died in 1910, in the course of a dramatic flight from home,
at the railway station of Astapovo. Richard Pevear, along with his wife Larissa Volokhonsky, has translated works by Tolstoy,
Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gogol, Bulgakov and Pasternak. They both were twice awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation
Prize (for Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina). They are married and live in France.