Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukraine in 1809 and died in 1852. Originally trained as a painter, he became interested in the theater and was soon known for his plays and short stories, notably "The Diary of a Madman" (1834), "The Nose" (1836), and "The Overcoat" (1842). Dead Souls, his novel, was published in 1842.
Richard Pevear, a native of Boston, and Larissa Volokhonsky, a native of Leningrad, are married and live in France. Their translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. Also translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky, (and also available from Vintage Books) are Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol; and Crime and Punishment, Demons, and Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky.