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Author Information: Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow on October 30, 1821. He was educated in Moscow and at the School of Military Engineers in St. Petersburg. He spent four years in the army before he left the service to devote himself to literature. In 1846, he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk; it was an immediate critical and popular success. This was followed by short stories and two novels, The Double and The Landlady. While at work on Nyetochka Nyezvanova, the twenty-nine-year-old author was arrested for belonging to a young socialist group. He was tried and condemned to death, but at the last moment his sentence was commuted to prison in Siberia. He spent four years in the penal settlement of Omsk, and upon his release he was forced to remain in exile. In Siberia, he fell in love with and married Marie Isaeva, a sensual woman who brought him little happiness. Three years after their marriage, Dostoyevsky was pardoned and permitted to return to Russia. In the next few years he wrote his first full-length novels: The House of the Dead (1861) and The Insulted and the Injured (1862). At the end of this literary period, his wife died. Plagued by epilepsy, faced with financial ruin, he worked at superhuman speed to produce The Gambler, dictating the novel to eighteen-year-old Anna Grigorievna Snitkina. The manuscript was delivered to his publisher in time and Anna and he were happily married. During the next fourteen years, Dostoyevsky wrote his greatest works: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed, and The Brothers Karamazov. The latter book was published a year before his death on January 28, 1881.

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