An Accidental Family by F. M. Dostoevsky
Set in the 1870s, a time of social disorder in Russia, "An Accidental Family" (1875) is the story of Arkady Dolgoruky - an awkward, illegitimate 20-year-old in search of his family. He tries to escape the bruising experience of his "accidental" birth, and becomes legitimately a member of a family, even though that family is equally "accidental", and indeed, mirrors the growing illegitimacy of Russian society as a whole. Arkady seeks an ideal in this corrupt world, finding it partly in his attractive, aristocratic, physical father, and partly in the saintly, philosophical peasant who is his spiritual father and whose name he bears. Meanwhile, the women in his life - his adored mother and sister, his wilful half-sister and the widow he falls passionately in love with - illuminate the many facets of his character. This new translation of Dostoevsky's last completed and most daring novel, "Podrostok", previously translated as "A Raw Youth", fully captures the raciness and youthful vigour of the original, and expresses "the innermost spiritual world of someone on the eve of manhood at that tumultuous time". Richard Freebor is the translator of Turgenev's "A Month in the Country", "Fathers and Sons" and "First Love and Other Stories".