The Master and Margarita
One of the great imaginative novels of the century, a fierce political satire, filled with the most dazzling surreal humour. The devil makes a personal appearance in Moscow accompanied by two demons, a naked girl and a huge black cat. When he leaves, the asylums are full and the forces of law and order in disarray. Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, remain undiminished. The Master and Margarita is Bulgakov's last and most celebrated novel, completed in 1938 at the height of Stalin's purges and published for the first time in Russia in 1966.
October 2014 sees the publication of the Vintage Magic collection: nine mesmerizing novels that explore all aspects of the supernatural and the fantastical. 'I challenge you to a duel!" screamed the cat, sailing over their heads on the swinging chandelier'
"It is a hymn to the imagination" -- Desmond O'Grady "This book is absorbing, brilliant slapstick, and looks deep in to the heart of fantasy and longing" Sunday Times "Stunning, superb...Bulgakov is one of the greatest Russian writers, perhaps the greatest" Independent "A masterpiece-a classic of twentieth-century fiction" New York Times "A marvellous writer" -- Michael Frayn
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940) was born and educated in Kiev where he graduated as a doctor in 1916, but gave up the practice of medicine in 1920 to devote himself to literature. In 1925 he completed the satirical novella The Heart of a Dog, which remained unpublished in the Soviet Union until 1987. This was one of the many defeats he was to suffer at the hands of his censors. By 1930 Bulgakov had become so frustrated by the political atmosphere and the suppression of his works that he wrote to Stalin begging to be allowed to emigrate if he was not to be given the opportunity to make his living as a writer in the USSR. Stalin telephoned him personally and offered to arrange a job for him at the Moscow Arts Theatre instead. In 1938, a year before contracting a fatal illness, he completed his prose masterpiece, The Master and Margarita. He died in 1940. In 1966-7, thanks to the persistance of his widow, the novel made a first, incomplete, appearance in Moskva, and in 1973 appeared in full.