'When we read Tolstoy, it feels easy. This is life itself' Howard Jacobson 'No other writer wrote so often, or so imaginatively, about the actual moment of dying' Orlando Figes Tolstoy's stories contain many of the most acutely observed moments in his monumental body of work. This new selection of his shorter works, sensitively translated by the award-winning Boris Dralyuk, showcases the peerless economy with which Tolstoy could render the passions and conflicts of a life. These are works that take us from a self-interested judge's agonising deathbed to the bristling social world of horses in a stable yard, from the joyful vanity of youth to the painful doubts of sickness and old age. With unwavering precision, Tolstoy's eye brings clarity and richness to the simplest materials.