One of the most fascinating things about Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is how many different ways you can read it. It is a quintessential Russian novel. It's an example of Russian Realism. It ponders feminism and the 19th-Century question of a woman's role within her society. It's a family novel. It's a novel of adultery. It fits into the high Victorian tradition made up of large novels that focus on small lives.
Discover three of the most popular and lasting of Anna's "faces," as explained by some of the world's most approachable Tolstoy scholars. Plus, if you like a certain take on Anna, the experts suggest what should be next on your reading list.
Tolstoy and the Victorians
When Anna Karenina wanted a good read to take her mind off of her problems as she rode the night train from Moscow to St. Petersburg, she reached for an English novel. Find out why.
The Family Novel
What is a family novel? Narrowly defined, "family novel" refers to a group of novels extolling the virtues of domesticity. But if you define the term more broadly, it can mean any novel that explores the idea of family and the way that family works. Find out more.
The Novel of Adultery
The plot of novels of adultery hinge on the effects infidelity has on those intimately involved, and on their immediate circle. The very existence of Anna Karenina should come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the Russian literary tradition. Find out why.