About the Author
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born on January 29, 1860, in the seaport town of Taganrog, the son of a struggling grocer and grandson of a serf. When his father became bankrupt and fled creditors by migrating to Moscow, Chekhov stayed behind to complete his studies. He later moved to Moscow to study medicine at the university. To support his family and his education, Chekhov started composing comic sketches for various Russian magazines. By the time his mature story “The Steppe” (1888) was published by serious literary periodical Severny vestnik (“Northern Herald”), Chekhov was already considered an accomplished short story writer. His third collection of stories, In the Twilight, won the prestigious Pushkin Prize. Later in life Chekhov came to regard medical practice as his proper vocation and his “lawful wife”, while literature was his “mistress”. In 1901 Chekhov married Olga Knippers, an actress for the Moscow Art Theater. His last years were marked by theatrical successes: Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard (1904) were both staged to acclaim in Russia by the Moscow Art Theater. Chekhov died of tuberculosis in 1904, at the age of forty-four. Constance Garnett (née Black), born on December 19, 1861, was a distinguished translator of Russian literature. Her husband was Edward Garnett and her son and only child David Garnett. Between 1894 to 1934 she published 17 volumes of translations of Russian literature, ranging from Tolstoy to Chekhov, Turgenev to Dostoevsky. Her translation works were highly praised by such writers as Joseph Conrad and D. H. Lawrence. She died in 1946 at Kent, England.