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Some Wild Creature

James Meek: Tolstoy Leaves Home

22 July 2010
The Death of Tolstoy: Russia on the Eve, Astapovo Station, 1910 
by William Nickell.
Cornell, 209 pp., £18.95, May 2010, 978 0 8014 4834 8
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The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy 
translated by Cathy Porter.
Alma, 609 pp., £9.99, February 2010, 978 1 84688 102 2
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A Confession 
by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Anthony Briggs.
Hesperus, 146 pp., £7.99, February 2010, 978 1 84391 190 6
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Anniversary Essays on Tolstoy 
by Donna Tussing Orwin.
Cambridge, 268 pp., £55, February 2010, 978 0 521 51491 0
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... mind. She went back to it later, and lived another nine years. But she did lose her husband, who ran away from her and died of pneumonia in a rural stationmaster’s house a few days later. Although WilliamNickell and the contemporary Russian journalists whose work he has explored for The Death of Tolstoy try to make an enigma of the 82-year-old writer’s ‘complex and provocative’ nocturnal flight ...

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