A literary self-help memoir about using the Russian classics to find the answer to life's most important questions.
Viv Groskop has discovered the meaning of life in Russian literature. As she knows from personal experience, everything that has ever happened in life has already happened in these novels: from not being sure what to do with your life (Anna Karenina) to being in love with someone who doesn't love you back enough (A Month in the Country by Turgenev) or being socially anxious about your appearance (all of Chekhov's work). This is a literary self-help memoir, with examples from the author's own life that reflect the lessons of literature, only in a much less poetic way than Tolstoy probably intended, and with an emphasis on being excessively paranoid about having an emerging moustache on your upper lip, just like Natasha in War and Peace.
Viv Groskop is an award-winning comedian (Say Sorry to the Lady, Be More Margo and Anchorwoman), a crack interviewer (most recently seen on Graham Norton's UK-wide book tour), and an agony aunt for The Pool. She is the author of I Laughed, I Cried (Orion 2013), and a regular contributor to the Guardian, Observer and Mail on Sunday, as well as Front Row, Woman's Hour and Newsnight.