VT Edition: The Last Days Of Leo Tolstoy

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Russian writer Leo Tolstoy lived a life of incongruities: a landed aristocrat who espoused socialist values; the author of two of the greatest novels, War And Peace and Anna Karenina, but who later scorned their meaningfulness; a preacher of chastity who did not observe the ideal himself; a man who loved his wife but found he could not tolerate living with her. The complex final year of Tolstoy’s life was told in a novel by Middlebury College professor Jay Parini, and that book is the basis for an acclaimed new movie by the same name, The Last Station.

VPR’s Jane Lindholm talks with Parini about Tolstoy’s devoted followers, and the epic struggle between them and his wife over control of his vast estate.

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