Russia - a vast and complex place that hides its secrets well. Two masters of the short story shed light upon its people and their emotional hinterland. Great stories, simply told with fresh voices. Shortalk - moving words of the page The Darling by Anton Anton Chekov
"Between 1888 and his death Checkov single handedly revolutionised both the drama and the short story." (James Rusk 201 stories by Anton Chekov) Olga Semyonovna is adored by all, and defines her life by the opinions she shares, but are they her own and what happens to her when they are no longer forthcoming? Published in 1899, five years before his untimely death at the age of 44, 'The Darling' has been upheld as one of Chekov's most exquisite stories, gently unpicking the complex threads of the lives of provincial Russians, and leaving us to judge their actions. Twenty Six and One by Maxime Gorky
Will Tanya be able to resist the challange on her virtue set by 26 miserable and desperate admirers? It is often said that this is Gorky's finest short story - set in a hellish bakery basement where joy is a rare commodity indeed, an image of perfection and humanity lights up the bakes lives for seconds each day and sets them in a dither.