November 1916: A Novel
The Red Wheel IIFSG Classics
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; Translated from the Russian by H. T. Willetts
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The month of November 1916 in Russia was outwardly unmarked by seismic events, but beneath the surface, society seethed fiercely. In Petrograd, luxury-store windows are still brightly lit; the Duma debates the monarchy, the course of war, and clashing paths to reform; the workers in the miserable munitions factories veer increasingly toward sedition. At the front all is stalemate except for sudden death's capricious visits, while in the countryside sullen anxiety among hard-pressed farmers is rapidly replacing patriotism. In Zurich, Lenin, with the smallest of all revolutionary groups, plots his sinister logistical miracle. With masterly and moving empathy, through the eyes of both historical and fictional protagonists, Solzhenitsyn unforgettably transports us to that time and place--the last of pre-Soviet Russia. Translated by H.T. Willetts.
November 1916 is the second volume in Solzhenitsyn's multi-part work, the Red Wheel, following August 1914. The final volumes will deal with March and April of 1917. Each volume concentrates on a historical turning point, or "knot," as the wheel rolls on inexorably toward revolution.
Praise for November 1916: A Novel
“Willetts's English translation is brilliant . . . Nowhere else will . . . foreign readers . . . find such a grandiose panorama of the forces and personalities involved, a superb blend of fact and fiction written in a racy, original style.” —John Keep, The Times Literary Supplement
“Solzhenitsyn achives something exceedingly rare among novelists dealing with history . . . he gets a sense of the past not as something to be understood in the light of the present, but as a teeming womb of incalculablility and possibility.” —John Bayley, The New York Book Review
“Solzhenitsyn's tremendous gifts as a novelist shine in his creation of characters and his depiction of war on the front line” —The New Yorker-