Vasily Grossman was born in 1905. In 1941, he became a war reporter for the Red Army newspaper Red Star and came to be regarded as a legendary war hero. Life and Fate, his masterpiece, was considered a threat to the totalitarian regime, and Grossman was told that there was no chance of the novel being published for another 200 years. Grossman died in 1964.
One of the greatest masterpieces of the twentieth century Times Literary Supplement It is only a matter of time before Grossman is acknowledged as one of the great writers of the 20th century... Life and Fate is a book that demands to be talked about Guardian One of the finest Russian novels of the 20th century Daily Telegraph Vasily Grossman's novel is burnt in my memory, not only by its huge canvas, its meditation on tyranny, and its dazzling description of war, but also because this is the novel that made me cry - not just a few leaked tears, but a full-scale sobbing episode - in Montpellier airport... Grossman lost his mother in a concentration camp. In Life and Fate, he writes with tenderness, and pain, not only of that experience but of what it is like to survive tyranny. A classic indeed -- Gillian Slovo Independent One of the great writers of the last century Observer