|aOriginally published in Great Britain by Martin Secker & Warburg Limited 1994.
|aThe acclaimed author of Waiting for the Barbarians and Life & Times of Michael K enters the world and mind of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Set in 1869, when Dostoevsky was summoned from Germany back to St. Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, this book is at once a compelling mystery and a brilliant and courageous meditation on authority and rebellion, art and imagination.>
|aCoetzee, J. M.,|tThe Master of Petersburg
|aRussia|xHistory|yAlexander II, 1855-1881|vFiction.
In the fall of 1869 Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, lately a resident of Germany, is summoned back to St. Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, Pavel. Half crazed with grief, stricken by epileptic seizures, and erotically obsessed with his stepson's landlady, Dostoevsky is nevertheless intent on unraveling the enigma of Pavel's life. Was the boy a suicide or a murder victim? Did he love his stepfather or despise him? Was he a disciple of the revolutionary Nechaev, who even now is somewhere in St. Petersburg pursuing a dream of apocalyptic violence? As he follows his stepson's ghost—and becomes enmeshed in the same demonic conspiracies that claimed the boy—Dostoevsky emerges as a figure of unfathomable contradictions: naive and calculating, compassionate and cruel, pious and unspeakably perverse.