By Leo Tolstoy
Begun shortly after he finished Anna Karenina, this autobiographical text grew out of a massive rethinking of religion the author started in 1879. After visiting a monastery to discuss religion, Tolstoy began this volume, first titled An Introduction to an Unpublished Work. The thinking behind it is so controversial, it is banned from publication in Russia, and circulates illegally from 1884 until it is finally published in 1906. In this work, Tolstoy asks the enduring question, "Is there any meaning in my life which would not be destroyed by my inevitably approaching death?"