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Anton Tchekhov

Born on the desolate shores of the Black Sea, a simple dispensing physician at the outset, umpteenth son of a family sizzling with intense personalities: rarely in the history of literature has a writer’s self-perception been so far removed from his true genius. Despite that incongruity, Russian playwright Anton Pavlovich Chekhov penned Ivanov (1887), The Seagull (1895–96), Uncle Vanya (1897), Three Sisters (1901) and The Cherry Orchard (1904)—five masterpieces that ushered in, at the dawn of the twentieth century, a form of realism with touches of the unfamiliar and strange, interweaving comedy and tragedy in a reflection of the elusive dance of existence.