One of the great Russian autobiographies, as fresh now as the day it was written - and the day it was lived -- Julian Barnes Outstanding... A sparkling, supremely precious literary achievement * Telegraph * The Story of a Life radiates a terrific vim and thirst for experience. A more gloriously life-affirming book is unlikely to emerge this year. -- Ian Thompson * Spectator * Beautifully translated, these volumes are a uniquely rich and moving account of events that continue to haunt us to this day -- Mark Mazower * Financial Times * A 20th-century masterpiece * Daily Telegraph, *Summer Reads of 2022* * A literary masterpiece.... This is not the cracker-barrel blandness of some professional sage, as so often in America's ghost-written memoirs, but a wisdom of tragic insight and of hard-earned integrity * Saturday Review * A work of astonishing beauty ... a masterpiece -- Isaac Bashevis Singer For Paustovsky, books are like stars in the darkness, and "literature draws us closer to the golden age of our thoughts, our feelings and our actions". He was, unquestionably, a part of that golden age, and now with this lively new translation of his memoir, he can be again -- John Self * The Times * An older man, a survivor, and a witness, Paustovsky writes against time, to tell the young what the past was like... His work is nothing like an elegy, nor is it as routine as a backward glance at the good or bad old days. It is, rather, a series of sketches, stories, novellas, in which vanished people (including the author's young self) are present again - as they once walked in a park, or smiled, or wept - and made anew in man's most endurable medium, language * New Yorker * The quality of his [Paustovsky's] narrative imagination make The Story of a Life, the Proust-length autobiography he started in 1943, a masterpiece -- Julian Evans * Daily Telegraph *
Konstantin Paustovsky was born in Moscow in 1892, but spent his childhood in Ukraine, being schooled at Kiev's First Gymnasium. After serving as a paramedic in World War I Paustovsky worked as a journalist until he began to write the novels, short story collections and critical essays that would earn him his place as the most admired and respected figure among Russia's contemporary writers. Paustovsky began work on his autobiography, The Story of a Life, in 1943, parts of which first appeared in English translation in 1964-four years before he died.