Bulgakov: Diaries and Selected Letters trans. Roger Cockrell (Alma, £18.99)
“Of course, it’s so interesting to read about my foot! I’m sorry,” Mikhail Bulgakov wrote to his wife in the stifling Moscow heat of July 1938, straying too far, he thought, into complaints about the torment of his mosquito bites. The Soviet writer had survived the darkest year of Stalin’s Terror. His health was in steep decline. That summer his secret work on the novel The Master and Margarita had reached a crucial stage.
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