Poor People

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Introducing the first in a long line of underground characters, Dostoevsky's first full-length work of fiction is a poignant, tragi-comic tale which foreshadows the greatness of his later novels Presented as a series of letters between the humble copying-clerk Devushkin and a distant relative of his, the young Varenka, this book brings to the fore the underclass of St. Petersburg, who live at the margins of society in the most appalling conditions and abject poverty. As Devushkin tries to help Varenka improve her plight by selling anything he can, he is reduced to even more desperate circumstances and seeks refuge in alcohol, looking on helplessly as the object of his impossible love is taken away from him.


Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881) is considered one of the greatest writers of all time. His works include such seminal novels as Crime and Punishment and The Karamazov Brothers. Hugh Aplin has translated Mikhail Bulgakov's A Dog's Heart and The Fatal Eggs, Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Eternal Husband, and Mikhail Kuzmin's Wings.