The White Guard

The White Guard

by Mikhail Bulgakov

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Overview

A Kyiv family is caught up in the Ukrainian War of Independence in this novel by the author of The Master and Margarita, drawing from his own life.
 
Reds, Whites, German troops, and Ukrainian nationalists battle for control of the city of Kyiv as the war becomes more tumultuous in Mikhail Bulgakov’s debut novel, The White Guard.
 
Drawing heavily from the author’s own experiences in Ukraine during the period of the Russian Civil War—he witnessed ten changes of government himself—The White Guard is told from alternating points of view and takes an unusual angle in the conflict between Russian Whites (with whom the Turbin family identify) and Ukrainian nationalists. It elegantly portrays the chaos of a civil war in which there is no good or evil, only loyalty to one’s friends, family, and convictions.
 
First appearing in partial form in a Soviet-era literary journal, the story was turned into a play under the title The Days of the Turbins—a long-running hit that Stalin himself attended twenty times—yet was not published widely until decades after Bulgakov’s death.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783961891573
Publisher: Strelbytskyy Multimedia Publishing
Publication date: 04/17/2017
Sold by: Bookwire
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 440
File size: 517 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Mikhail Bulgakov was a Russian playwright, novelist, and physician best known for his satirical classic, The Master and Margarita. Born in Kiev in 1891, Bulgakov was drawn to both literature and the theater from his early youth. As a young man, Bulgakov studied to become a doctor and volunteered with the Red Cross during the First World War. He practiced medicine for some years after WWI, and was eventually drafted as an army physician during the Russian Civil War. He contracted typhus and nearly died at his posting, and after a shaky recovery he began his professional transition from physician to playwright and author.
 
From 1919 until his death in 1940, his plays, short stories, and novels enjoyed degrees of critical and popular success, but Bulgakov also endured a great deal of criticism and censorship due to his propensity to mercilessly satirize the ethical and political shortcomings of life in the Soviet Union. His witty, biting, and frequently grotesque storytelling style caught the eye of Joseph Stalin, earning him some degree of political immunity. By the end of the 1920s, however, Bulgakov’s career had ground to a halt due to a government ban on the performance or publication of his work. Bulgakov’s relationship with Stalin protected him from arrest and execution, but he could not publish any of his works or stage his plays for the remaining years of his life.
 
Over the next decade, the ailing writer began work on The Master and Margarita, which would be his last major creative effort before his death. A brilliant satire of Soviet society, it was not published until 1966, 26 years after his death. Although he never experienced stable success and renown during his life, Bulgakov’s body of work is now firmly situated within the pantheon of great 20th century Russian literature and theater.

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