Mikhail Bulgakov

A Dog's Heart
  • A Dog's Heart

  • Brought to you by Penguin.

    A Dog's Heart: An Appalling Story is Mikhail Bulgakov's hilarious satire on Communist hypocrisies.

    In this surreal work by the author of The Master and Margarita, wealthy Moscow surgeon Filip Preobrazhensky implants the pituitary gland and testicles of a drunken petty criminal into the body of a stray dog named Sharik. As the dog slowly transforms into a man, and the man into a slovenly, lecherous government official, the doctor's life descends into chaos. A scathing indictment of the New Soviet Man, A Dog's Heart was immediately banned by the Soviet government when it was first published in 1925: alternating lucid realism with pulse-raising drama, the novel captures perfectly the atmosphere of its rapidly changing times.

    Andrew Bromfield's vibrant translation is accompanied by an introduction by James Meek, which places the work in the context of the Russian class struggles of the era and considers the vision, progressive style and lasting relevance of an author who was isolated and suppressed during his lifetime.

    'One of the greatest of modern Russian writers, perhaps the greatest'
    Nigel Jones, Independent

    © Andrew Bromfield, James Meek 2007 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940) was born and educated in Kiev where he graduated as a doctor in 1916, but gave up the practice of medicine in 1920 to devote himself to literature. In 1925 he completed the satirical novella The Heart of a Dog, which remained unpublished in the Soviet Union until 1987. This was one of the many defeats he was to suffer at the hands of his censors. By 1930 Bulgakov had become so frustrated by the political atmosphere and the suppression of his works that he wrote to Stalin begging to be allowed to emigrate if he was not to be given the opportunity to make his living as a writer in the USSR. Stalin telephoned him personally and offered to arrange a job for him at the Moscow Arts Theatre instead. In 1938, a year before contracting a fatal illness, he completed his prose masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. He died in 1940. In 1966-7, thanks to the persistance of his widow, the novel made a first, incomplete, appearance in Moskva, and in 1973 appeared in full.

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