"The great thing is to lead a normal life, and not be the slave of your passions. What do you get if not?"
One of Russian literature's most renowned love stories—a vivid and sensitive account of adolescent love, wherein the sixteen year old protagonist falls in love with a beautiful but older woman living next door, thereby plunging into a whirlwind of changing emotions that are heightened by her capriciousness, and leading to a truly heart-rending revelation.
The Art of The Novella Series
Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
About the Author
Ivan Turgenev was born into a wealthy, landed family in Oryol, Russia on October 28, 1818, the son of a chronically philandering cavalry officer and an unhappy, abusive heiress. As a child one of the family serfs read him verses from the Rossiad of Kheraskov, and Turgenev’s early attempts at literature and poetry gave indications of genius. He was sent to study at the University of Berlin in 1838 and returned impressed with German society, believing Russia could best improve itself by incorporating ideas from the Age of Enlightenment. Turgenev made a name for himself, beginning in 1852, with the short-story collection A Sportsman’s Sketches. He followed with the novels Rudin in 1854, A Nest of the Gentry in 1858, and On The Eve in 1859. Yet Turgenev’ s seeming pro-Western philosophy led to a tempestuous relationship with his countrymen—Tolstoy, at one point, challenging him to a duel—and his masterpiece Fathers and Sons, released in 1862, went largely unappreciated in his home country. Disillusioned, Turgenev wrote progressively less and less, spending ever more time abroad later in life. He died at Bougival, near Paris, on 4 September 1883.
Praise for First Love…
"I wanted them all, even those I'd already read."
—Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer
—Time Out London
"[F]irst-rate…astutely selected and attractively packaged…indisputably great works."
—Adam Begley, The New York Observer
"I’ve always been haunted by Bartleby, the proto-slacker. But it’s the handsomely minimalist cover of the Melville House edition that gets me here, one of many in the small publisher’s fine 'Art of the Novella' series."
—The New Yorker
"The Art of the Novella series is sort of an anti-Kindle. What these singular, distinctive titles celebrate is book-ness. They're slim enough to be portable but showy enough to be conspicuously consumed—tiny little objects that demand to be loved for the commodities they are."
—KQED (NPR San Francisco)
"Some like it short, and if you're one of them, Melville House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn, has a line of books for you... elegant-looking paperback editions ...a good read in a small package."
—The Wall Street Journal