Tolstoy's first published work, completed in 1856, "Childhood, Boyhood, Youth" recounts his early life up to his university days. These are not memoirs in the strict sense of the word, as the author's Stendhalian take on the autobiographical genre confronts and blurs the notions of reality and imagination, combining nostalgic anecdote with frank personal assessment and philosophical extrapolation. An early display of Tolstoy's storytelling genius, written in his classically simple yet colourful language, these chronicles provide the reader with invaluable insight into the personal and literary development of one of the greatest writers of all time.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is regarded by some as the greatest novelist of all time. With such masterpieces as Anna Karenina and War and Peace, he influenced generations of writers and changed the course of world literature.