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A "soaring, dazzling novel" (The New York Times), Mirra Ginsburg's critically-acclaimed translation of one of the most important and best-loved modern classics in world literature
The Master and Margarita has been captivating readers around the world ever since its first publication in 1967. Written during Stalin's time in power but suppressed in the Soviet Union for decades, Bulgakov's masterpiece is an ironic parable on power and its corruption, on good and evil, and on human frailty and the strength of love.
In The Master and Margarita, the Devil himself pays a visit to Soviet Moscow. Accompanied by a retinue that includes the fast-talking, vodka-drinking, giant tomcat Behemoth, he sets about creating a whirlwind of chaos that soon involves the beautiful Margarita and her beloved, a distraught writer known only as the Master, and even Jesus Christ and Pontius Pilate. The Master and Margarita combines fable, fantasy, political satire, and slapstick comedy to create a wildly entertaining and unforgettable tale that is commonly considered the greatest novel to come out of the Soviet Union. It appears in this edition in a translation by Mirra Ginsburg that was judged "brilliant" by Publishers Weekly.
About the Author
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was one of postrevolutionary Russia's foremost authors. In the 1920s his work was suppressed by the Stalinist authorities; only with his rehabilitation, beginning in 1962, was much of it published. His other works include Heart of a Dog, The Fatal Eggs, and The White Guard. Mirra Ginsburg (1909-2000) was born in Russia. In addition to The Master and Margarita, she translated other works by Bulgakov, as well as works by Zamyatin, Dostoyevsky, Babel, Zoshchenko, Platonov, and others. She edited many books, including The Fatal Eggs and Other Soviet Satire, and wrote more than twenty books for children.
A wild surrealistic romp. . . . Brilliantly flamboyant and outrageous. Joyce Carol Oates, The Detroit News
This dark, absurd, and subversive treasure lay hidden for many years, even after Bulgakovs death, such was the fear of reprisal for such a pointed, authentic stab at life under the tyrannical malevolence of Uncle Joe and the withering Soviet climate of the time. Johnny Depp, My Essentials in Entertainment Weeklys Best of the Decade issue (December 11, 2009)
Fine, funny, imaginative . . . . The Master and Margarita stands squarely in the great Gogolesque tradition of satiric narrative. Saul Maloff, Newsweek
The book is by turns hilarious, mysterious, contemplative and poignant. . . . A great work. Chicago Tribune
Magnificent . . . a gloriously ironic gothic masterpiece . . . had me rapt with bliss. Patrick McGrath, Guardian (UK)
Funny, devilish, brilliant satire . . . Its literature of the highest order and . . . it will deliver a full measure of enjoyment and enlightenment. Publishers Weekly
A rich, funny, moving and bitter novel . . . . Vast and boisterous entertainment. The New York Times
A classic of twentieth-century fiction. The New York Times Book Review